Contract awarded to design and build 420-MW Nachtigal hydropower plant in Cameroon

BESIX, in partnership with NGE and SGTM, will design and build the 420-MW Nachitgal hydropower plant on the Sanaga River in Cameroon.

Nachtigal will be owned by Nachtigal Hydro Power Company, a project company whose shareholders are EDF International, the Republic of Cameroon and the International Finance Corporation. NHPC has a 35-year lease to run the facility.

Nachtigal is one of the few hydro projects in sub-Saharan Africa being built through a public-private partnership, BESIX says. When it is complete, it will boost electricity generating capacity in the country by 30%.

The contract involves designing and building a roller-compacted-concrete dam 2 km long and up to 14 m high, as well as a 3-km-long supply canal, the civil engineering works of the hydroelectric power plant, and water intake facilities. This work is expected to begin before the end of 2018 and is anticipated to last 57 months.

Nachitgal will operate as a run-of-river scheme. The powerhouse will contain seven 60-MW turbine-generating units. Electricity will be transmitted to the capital of Yaounde 65 km away.

BESIX is a multiservice group located in Belgium, NGE is a French company and SGTM is a Moroccan company.

In November 2017, we announced that the African Development Bank Group approved a US$178.3 million loan to help finance development of Nachtigal.

In total, the project is expected to cost US$1.3 billion to build.

In other Cameroon news, in October 2017 we reported that Platinum Power had pre-qualified seven consortia to design and build a 365-MW hydro project near Makay, on the Nyong River.

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