The Menve'éle hydroelectric dam has delivered its first 80 megawatts since 16 April 2019. The engineers in charge of its construction have assured that it will be fully operational by 2020. A similar announcement, relating to the Mékin hydroelectric dam, was recently made by the Ministry of Water and Energy of Cameroon.
The Cameroonian Minister of Water and Energy presided over a “power-up” ceremony of the Memve’ele hydroelectric dam on April 16, 2019. This made it possible to inject 80 MW into the interconnected grid in the south Cameroon region, according to the engineers in charge of operating the dam. “There is a 90 KV line from Ebolowa to Mbalmayo. We will therefore supply 80 MW from Memve’ele to Djop substation and transit to Mbalmayo. Then Eneo (National Electricity Distribution Company, editor’s note) will redistribute them to households,” they said.
Construction of the Memve’ele hydroelectric dam began in January 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2017. The postponement of the delivery date is justified by the delay in the construction of a 30 km transport line, which separates the site of the dam from the city of Yaoundé. This infrastructure, with a total capacity of 211 MW, is built on the Ntem River, in the locality of Nyabizan, a village located 300 km from Yaoundé, the political capital of Cameroon and close to the border with Equatorial Guinea.
The dam is being built by Sinohydro, a Chinese company specialising in the hydropower sector. In 2017, the Cameroonian government contracted a debt of nearly €371 million with Exim Bank of China to finance part of the dam. The African Development Bank has invested just over 171 million euros. The remaining €99 million was provided by the Cameroonian side. All these investments bring the cost of the project to more than 640 million euros.
Delivery of the Mékin dam scheduled for January 2020
The Ministry of Water and Energy (Minee) announced the final delivery of the Mékin dam on January 15, 2020. The provisional acceptance of this infrastructure took place on January 21 and 22, 2019. Its delivery was also delayed due to technical problems. According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, “Group No. 2, which experienced more serious tree anomalies in May 2018, is currently under review. The trial session of groups 1 and 3 took place successfully from November 1 to 14, 2018. Factory acceptance of this work is scheduled for April 2019. “The construction cost of the Mekin dam is estimated at 38 million euros and has a 15 MW capacity.
According to World Bank estimates, 62% of Cameroonians are without electricity. The installed capacity in Cameroon would be 1,400 MW, compared to a demand of around 2000 MW each year.