4 October 2012 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing some US$39 million for the Lom Pangar hydroelectric generation facility in Cameroon. The funding will support construction of a new 46m high regulating dam, a hydroelectric power plant at the foot of the dam and a transmission line between the power plant and the country’s eastern network. The project also includes a rural electrification scheme along the transmission line, environmental and social measures, and support for technical assistance and project management.
When completed the Lom Pangar regulating dam will reduce seasonal variability in the Sananga River. This will both increase year-round production by 120 MW at the existing Edea and Song Loulou hydropower plants located downstream and increase effective power generation from any future hydropower schemes on the river. The Lom Pangar project will generate an additional 30 MW of low-cost, hydropower for rural electrification in eastern Cameroon and create some 1,500 jobs during construction.
Cameroon has considerable hydropower potential of which only 6% is used and hydropower represents the cleanest and most cost-effective source of energy in the country. High electricity costs from other energy sources are a significant obstacle to investment and job creation. At present an estimated 86% of the rural Cameroon population lacks access to electricity.
The Lom Pangar hydropower project is expected to cost some US$400 million and funding is also being provided by the World Bank, French Development Agency, African Development Bank, Central African Development Bank and the government of Cameroon.
Earlier in 2012 the EIB agreed to provide US$38 million of long-term funding for the new Kribi power plant, the first natural gas powered power plant in the country, which will benefit more than a million people in Cameroon.