The Republic of Cameroon, represented by the Ministry of Water and Energy (MINEE), Hydromine, and Eneo Cameroon (ENEO) has signed a letter of intent for the 1,000-MW Grand Eweng hydropower project in Cameroon.
Grand Eweng is under development by Hydromine as an independent power producer in cooperation with the government of Cameroon and is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest private sector-led power projects.
The letter of intent defines the cooperation among the parties to finalize the terms of a power purchase agreement between the Grand Eweng project company to be formed and ENEO, under the supervision of MINEE. The letter sets out the framework and certain milestones for development of the project on a build, own, operate, and transfer (BOOT) model, which transfers Grand Eweng to the state after the concession term. The parties agree to finance and begin construction of the project within three years, with electricity generation starting in seven years.
The Grand Eweng project includes the development, design, financing, construction and operation of a hydropower plant on the Sanaga River between Yaounde and Douala in the eastern Littoral Region. The project consists of a dam and reservoir with a hydroelectric facility and will be financed and commissioned in phases. The first phase is expected to add up to about 1,000 MW of capacity, generating over 7,000 GWh average annual energy generation. The full future potential installed capacity of the site will be up to 1,800 MW, producing 9,000 GWh average annual energy generation.
This power will contribute to meeting Cameroon’s national electricity demand, which is expected to be more than 3,300 MW by 2030 and may reach 4,000 MW with high growth.
“Hydromine is confident that the studies undertaken in consultation with the Government have produced a world-class hydropower project that will greatly benefit Cameroon and attract international investment,” said Peter Briger, chairman and chief executive officer at Hydromine, “We are convinced that Grand Eweng is achievable in the near-term and will enable sustainable development in Cameroon and the region. We sincerely thank the Ministry of Water and Energy and Government of Cameroon for their leadership supporting this project and partnership with the private sector.”
The private sector-led development and financing of Grand Eweng enables the efficient application of international standards for project management and sustainability while reducing direct risks and costs borne by the government of Cameroon.
The development of hydroelectric infrastructure and increase in electrical supply is central to Cameroon’s goal to become an emerging country by 2035 and to foster growth in employment and living standards.
The Grand Eweng project will benefit Cameroonians by lowering the cost and increasing the reliability of electricity that can enable industrialization and economic growth. Grand Eweng could also eliminate polluting oil-based power generation and optimize the management of the country’s water resources.
Hydromine, an American sustainable energy company, is the original sponsor and developer of Grand Eweng since signing an exclusive letter of intent with the Republic of Cameroon in 2009, a memorandum of understanding in 2012, and a project development agreement in 2015 that was extended in 2018.
Hydromine financed and undertook detailed project technical studies and will shortly begin public consultations related to the project environmental and social studies for the sustainable and transparent implementation of the project.
This article was adapted from one previously published on the ESI-Africa website.