Cameroon power program includes dam strengthening, generation

The African Development Fund (ADF) board has approved a loan of 49.65 million units of account (US$76.75 million) to Cameroon to support a five-year investment program by utility AES SONEL.

The program, to improve electricity supply and network efficiency, includes rehabilitation of generating facilities, reinforcement and construction of high-voltage lines and transformer stations, and reinforcement and extension of the medium- and low-voltage grid. Main components of the program include power generation, energy transmission and distribution, and dam strengthening projects.

Earlier this year, AES SONEL, which is 56 percent owned by AES Corp. of the United States, pre-qualified bidders to refurbish the 263-MW Edea hydroelectric project on Cameroon’s Sanaga River.

ADF, the concessional window of the African Development Bank (ADB), said May 10 that equipment and consultants will be solicited by international competitive bidding in accordance with ADB procedures.

The total project is expected to cost 380 million euros (US$486 million). The ADF loan will finance 15.7 percent of the total and some recurrent costs. AES SONEL will contribute 140 million euros (US$179 million), or 37 percent, while other lenders will provide 135 million euros (US$172.7 million), or 35 percent, of the total costs.

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