Commissioning commences at 420 MW Nachtigal hydropower plant in Cameroon

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
  • The first 60MW generation unit has been commissioned at the 420 MW Nachtigal hydropower plant in Cameroon.
  • The commissioning of the six other units will be done progressively, at a rate of one unit per month, to achieve commercial operation of the power plant by the end of 2024, which will increase total generation capacity in Cameroon by 30%.
  • The hydro plant will also contribute power to country’s Southern Interconnected Grid and the Cameroon-Chad Electricity Grid Interconnection Project, which will enable Cameroon to supply 100 MW of electricity to Chad by 2027.

The turbine commissioning was attended by several members of the Cameroon government, including Water and Energy Minister Gaston Eloundou Essomba and Louis-Paul Motaze, his counterpart in charge of Finance.

The hydropower plant is located on the Sanaga River near the Nachtigal Falls, 65 kilometers away from the capital city of Cameroon.

The operation of the Nachtigal facility falls under the responsibility of the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), a special-purpose entity with diverse ownership, including Électricité de France (EDF), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the State of Cameroon, Africa50, and STOA Infra & Energy. The substantial investment of 1.2 billion euros underscores the project’s scale and significance, comprising not only the dam itself but also associated infrastructure such as the feeder canal.

InfraVentures, an upstream unit of IFC developing bankable projects, helped develop and structure the project in its early stages, spending $13 million of development capital. This project is the IFC’s largest power investment in Africa. In addition to IFC’s equity of €60 million and debt financing of €110 million for the project, IFC helped put together a €916 million loan package from development finance institutions and commercial banks. They also provided interest rate swaps to help the project company mitigate interest rate risk. Key project development and structuring support came from across the World Bank Group.

Selling electricity at around €0.06 a kilowatt hour, Nachtigal will provide very cheap power that will help sustain economic growth and save the country $100 million in generation costs annually.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Copyright Green Building Africa 2024.