Cameroon Minister and Altaaqa Global inaugurate gas power plants

Altaaqa Global's natural gas power plants.

Altaaqa Global’s natural gas power plants.

*50Mw plant completed in 21 days

18 May 2015, Sweetcrude/APO, Houston – Altaaqa Global’s temporary natural gas power plants, with a joint capacity of 50MW, was recently inaugurated at the Logbaba power plant site in Douala, Cameroon.

The ceremony was attended by Dr Atangana Kouna Basile, Minister of Water Resources and Energy of Cameroon; members of the government; and senior executives from Eneo Cameroon S.A., the country’s integrated utility company, and Gaz du Cameroun (GDC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Victoria Oil & Gas (VOG). The rental gas power plants were installed and commissioned within 21 days from the time the equipment arrived at the intended power plant sites.

Collaborative business model

The successful completion of the temporary gas power plants stands as a testament to the viability of a business model featuring a synergy among the government, the utility company, the fuel supplier and the equipment provider. In this particular project, with the Cameroonian government and Eneo as clients, Altaaqa Global provided the power generation equipment, and took the responsibility of importing and installing the generators at the Logbaba and Ndokoti (Bassa) sites, while GDC supplied the gas to the rental gas power stations at both the sites.

Against this backdrop, Peter den Boogert, CEO of Altaaqa Global, said, “We are very proud to have been involved in this project, and to have collaborated with Cameroon’s government, Eneo and GDC. Altaaqa Global is greatly honored to have contributed to Cameroon’s national energy strategy and to have had the chance to promote the greater good of the Cameroonian nation. The success of this project proves that through the synergy among entities that put service and integrity above themselves, anything can be achieved. Here, we have witnessed that the sum of all of us is greater than each of us.”

The business model also proved to be economically beneficial to the service providers, with Kevin Foo, CEO of VOG, even calling it a true game-changer. “[Through the agreement with Eneo] We have secured a major near-term user of gas for our Cameroon business,” he continued, “and we are now becoming an active part of Cameroon’s energy equation.”

Environmentally friendly technology

In addition to the collaborative business model that led to its successful completion, the project also boasts of its environmental stewardship, with the power plants being run on natural gas.

Altaaqa Global installed state-of-the-art gas engine generators at both sites to ensure that the power plants are not only dependable but also environmentally friendly. In recognition of the worldwide emission requirements, which mandate the level of NOx emissions of equipment and industrial operations, Altaaqa Global engineered its gas generators to only emit 250 mg/Nm3 even without after-treatment.

Majid Zahid, Strategic Accounts Director of Altaaqa Global, speaking on the sustainability of the project, said, “Our temporary gas power plants systems meet the worldwide emissions standards and do not harm the environment. These rental gas plants are designed for performance and reliability, while being more environmentally friendly compared to systems running on other fuels. As the generators run on natural gas, they do not require expensive after-treatments and are, therefore, more economical to operate owing to more cost-effective fuel prices.” He added that gas systems were more flexible in fuel usage and would remain efficient even with different fuel varieties.

Cameroon’s road to economic development

Electricity is vital in ensuring the continuous development of economies and industries, most especially in emerging countries like Cameroon. With the successful completion of the temporary gas power plants, the entire Cameroon will be provided with a reliable and sustainable source of electricity that will power the country as it works to enhance its infrastructure and construct additional facilities to support its industries.

In this context, Joel Nana Kontchou, CEO of Eneo, said, “This project addresses a shortage in the country’s electricity supply, owing to a strong increase in demand, combined with a lack of a reserve in the electric system. We are pleased to work with GDC and Altaaqa, companies that share our deep commitment to responding to Cameroon’s critical infrastructure needs.”

Cameroon’s economy has weathered the drop in prices among its principal exports – petroleum, cocoa, coffee and cotton – and has remained largely stable in recent years. In 2013, its GDP growth reached 4.9%, and experts predict that it will remain within that level through 2015, riding on strong performances by the construction, oil & gas, transport, telecommunication and hospitality sectors. Cameroon’s government has been working to promote growth and employment in the country through the continuous development of energy, transportation and telecommunications infrastructure. It is also keen on modernizing the country’s production equipment and processes, particularly in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

The historical electricity operator in Cameroon, Eneo (formerly AES-SONEL) is a semi-public company with 56% shares owned by Actis Group and 44% by the State of Cameroon. Eneo has an installed generation capacity of 968 MW. The transport network connects 24 substations and includes 1,944.29 km of high voltage lines, 15,081.48 km of medium voltage lines and 15,209.25 km of low voltage lines. The distribution network consists of 11,450 km of lines of 5.5 to 33 KV and 11,158 km of lines of 220-380 kV. Eneo has more than 973,250 customers of which approximately 45% live in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé. Eneo employs 3,698 permanent staff.

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