AfDB loaning €150 million for development of 420-MW Nachtigal hydro in Cameroon

The African Development Bank Group has approved a loan of €150 million (US$178.3 million) to help finance development of the 420-MW Nachtigal hydro power project in Cameroon.

Nachtigal will be a run-of-river plant on the Sanaga River jointly designed and developed by the Republic of Cameroon (30% stake), EDF International-Electricite de France (40%) and the International Finance Corporation (30%). Nachtigal Hydro Power Company has a 35-year lease to run the facility, and electricity will be transmitted to the capital of Yaounde 65 km away.

Nachtigal is scheduled to come online in 2022 and will boost the country’s existing electricity generating capacity by 30% while also lowering the cost of electricity in the long term, AfDB says. It is expected to cost about €$1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) to build.

AfDB says development of Nachtigal is in line with its initiative to promote renewable energy. Its intervention “responds to the urgent need to build additional production capacity that would make a major impact in accelerating the country development. In addition, it complements the investments already made in Cameroon’s power sector … and demonstrates the AfDB’s strong commitment to the development of Cameroon’s energy sector.”

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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