By Mua Patrick Mughe , September 13, 2016
Cameroon Journal, Yaounde – A hydroelectric dam with a production capacity of 75 Mega watts is to be constructed over Bini River, in the Adamawa region, government spokesman, Issa Tchiroma Bakary announced.
While announcing the imminent construction of the dam at a press conference in Yaounde Friday, Tchiroma, who is also Communication Minister, said negotiations between the government of Cameroon and its partners for the realisation of the project were far advanced.
The communication boss recounted that “On January 15, 2016, the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya, signed a decree to authorize the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT), to sign with the International and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC, a loan agreement worth 302 million 944 thousand 727 dollars, an equivalent of about 182 billion CFA Francs, to finance the project.”
The construction of the Bini Hydroelectric dam at Warak, Tchiroma emphasized, falls within the framework of the Master Plan of the Electricity Sector by 2035.
The plan, he said, is part of the Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (GESP), a true compass of the ambition to make Cameroon an emerging nation by 2035.
According to the minister’s press statement, the first goal of Bini dam project is to substantially increase electrical power supply which was lacking in the northern part of the country and to ensure, in the midterm, electrical interconnection with the Republic of Chad on the one hand, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the other.
“In fact, it should be noted that in recent years, energy production from the Lagdo hydropower plant near Garoua in the North
region fell significantly, sometimes barely reaching 50 megawatts in full rainy season, although the installed capacity of this plant was valued at 72 megawatts at its inception,” Tchiroma said.
“It is an open secret that this situation has caused severe and recurrent electricity rationing in this part of the country, especially during low flow periods between the months of January and June.”
With regard to the Bini Hydropower Dam Project at Warak whose production capacity is estimated at 75 megawatts, its commissioning at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021 latest, Tchiroma pointed out, is expected to curb the energy supply deficit in the Northern Interconnected Grid, bearing in mind that overall demand in the said network is estimated at 148 megawatts.
In and out of the dam
The Bini hydroelectric dam project consists of several components, including; a water dam with a capacity of 560 million cubic meters; a hydroelectric power plant with an installed capacity of 75 megawatts, a high voltage electric power transmission line of 225 kilovolts; a 30 kilovolts rural electrification system; the construction and rehabilitation of access roads to the
project area, especially from the Ngaoundere – Touboro road; and an Environmental and Social Management Plan for the benefit of local population.
The environmental and social management plan, it should be said includes, among other components, the resettlement of persons displaced due to the implementation of this power plant and the construction of several other infrastructure.
In order to achieve the project, government has already planned that the project will to be executed through the Engineering – Procurement – Construction, EPC mode.
Government has thus, sought the expertise of the Chinese company known as Sinohydro Corporation Ltd., with which it first signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 14, 2012. A commercial contract was later signed on February 7, 2013.