Cameroon, France’s EDF finalise $1.2 billion hydropower deal

Cameroon’s government and Electricite de France SA concluded a deal to build a 420 MW hydropower plant that will increase the West Africa nation’s power capacity by more than a third.

The partners established the Nachtigal Hydropower Company that will oversee the 700 billion CFA francs ($1.2 billion) project during a signing ceremony on Thursday at the site, 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital, Yaounde.

hydropowerEDF will own a 40 percent share in the project while the government of Cameroon and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corp. will each hold a 30% stake, according to the agreement.

“Before the end of the year, the project, which is by far Cameroon’s biggest hydropower investment, will begin,” Mehita Silla, and IFC representative, said in an interview. “We have investors who have only been waiting for the creation of the company.”

The Nachtigal project will help relieve chronic power shortages in the nation as it seeks to increase its existing power capacity of about 1,200 MW to 3,000 MW by 2030. The project is due for completion by 2020, Water and Energy Minister Basile Atangana Kouna said at the signing ceremony.