YAOUNDE Nov 11 Cameroon and Electricite de
France have agreed to build a 400 billion CFA ($814
million) hydroelectric plant to generate 360 megawatts, and most
of that power will be used to double production at a major
aluminium plant, government officials said.
Work on the plant at Nachtigal Falls on the Sanaga River,
around 60 km (37 miles) north-east of Yaounde, is due to start
within six months when another hydropower project, Lom Pangar,
EDF will contribute 40 percent of the cost, the
International Finance Corporation 34 percent and the government
Aluminium is an important part of Cameroon's manufacturing
sector. The new power project should enable a doubling of
production at the Alucam aluminium factory at Edea, a joint
venture between Rio Tinto Alcan and the government,
Cameroon has two hydro plants, Edea and Song Loulou, and is
expected to have more hydropower potential, but only 22 percent
of its people are connected to the power system, a figure the
government hopes to boost to 48 percent by 2020, according to
2009 African Development Bank figures.
"It's a very important project for our country that will
allow supplementary production of electricity up to 400
megawatts," said Water Resources and Energy minister Basile
Atangana Kouna at the signing on Saturday.
He referred to the potential to produce electricity above
the initial 360 MW target.