AfDB and other lenders boost access to electricity in Cameroon

23/12/2011
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The African Development Bank (AfDB), and other development finance institutions including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), the Development Bank of Central Africa (BDEAC), Proparco, and a syndication of local banks led by Standard Chartered Bank signed on 22 December a loan agreement to provide a EUR 198 million to the Kribi Power Development Company (KPDC). KPDC is a subsidiary of the AES Corporation, an American global power company which provides affordable, sustainable energy to 27 countries worldwide, in partnership with the Government of Cameroon, which owns 44% of KPDC.

AfDB is lending EUR 39.5 million to the Kribi Power Project. The project comprises the construction and operation of a 216 megawatt gas-fired power plant located in the north of the coastal city of Kribi, in the southern province of Cameroon with a 100 km 225 kV transmission line to be connected to the country’s Southern Interconnected Grid. It will provide increased reliability of electricity supply and enhanced energy security in Cameroon.

Mrs. Tas Neside Anvaripour, AfDB’s manager of the infrastructure finance division said: “The lack of reliable electricity is a key obstacle to doing business in Cameroon. The Kribi project will increase access to reliable energy. The use of domestic gas will capitalize on the country’s own resource and substitute for fuel imports. In addition to other development finance institutions, we are pleased to work with local banks in responding to Cameroon’s critical infrastructure needs”.

The Kribi project will diversify Cameroon’s energy production sources through gas generation expansion while displacing inefficient thermal power plants thereby reducing environmental impact, including carbon emissions. Besides, the project will support the expansion of the aluminum industry in Cameroon. Ultimately, the Kribi project will help Cameroon to meet its growing demand for power, particularly during peak periods, and further stimulate the country‘s economic development.

Previous AfDB’s private sector window operations in Cameroon’s energy sector include the support to AES SONEL Investment Program, an integrated utility that both generates power and distributes it to over 660,000 customers in the country and the financing of Dibamba Power Project, a 86 megawatt heavy fuel oil-fired power plant located near Douala.