Cameroon flag

On Tuesday, general manager of Cameroon’s national power company Eneo Cameroon announced that the West African utility is considering investing $62 million to improve the country’s power supply, Reuters reported.

According to Joel Nana Kontchou, managing director of Eneo: “The majority of this budget, or $34 million, will be spent on the renewal, reinforcement and extension of the network for distribution and transmission of electricity.”

Formerly known as AES-SONEL until September 2014, the power company, which is co-owned by UK-based private equity firm Actis and the government of Cameroon, has installed an estimated 1,000MW of power capacity to date. Eneo added that work on improving transmission to the commercial capital Douala will begin this week.

Diversifying the energy mix

Solar & Wind
Climate change is driving hydro-reliant countries such as Cameroon to diversify and integrate other types of renewable energy into their energy mix. Pic credit: news.discovery

The Central African country is heavily reliant on hydropower, which contributes an estimated 60% to the country’s total installed 1,400MW capacity.

Climate change, however, poses a huge risk so the country is being forced to seek alternative power sources.

In January this year, Cameroon welcomed its first renewable energy independent power producer, JCM Greenquest Solar Corporation, to develop a 72MW solar photovoltaic plant.

The grant was awarded by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa in 2014 which, according to the African Development Bank, will cover environmental and social assessments as well as technical, legal and financial advisory services.

This was followed by news that South African-based GSC Energy would begin the construction of a 500MW solar photovoltaic park in Q3 of 2015 in the northern region of Cameroon. The project is led by GSC Energy consortium including Austrian Sun Value, South African Tricom Structures and Conco.

The solar park is estimated to increase power generation by 50%, enough power to electrify an additional 50,000 homes and save 70,000 metric tonnes of CO2 a year.