The European Investment Bank last Friday completed the FCFA 238 billion package needed for the project.
The total amount needed to execute the multibillion Lom-Pangar Hydroelectricity Dam at the confluence of Rivers Lom and Pangar in the East Region has been fully mobilised. The last of the five donors to put its pledge on the table was the European Investment Bank that signed a 30 million Euros (about FCFA 19.68 billion) financing agreement with Cameroon last Friday September 7.
The amount came to add to what has already been disbursed by the other donor agencies notably the World Bank; FCFA 69.5 billion, French Development Agency; FCFA 40 billion, African Development Fund; FCFA 33 billion and the Development Bank of Central African States; FCFA 20 billion. The counterpart funding of the government of Cameroon to the tune of FCFA 59.6 billion has earlier been mobilised.
In a chat with Cameroon Tribune on Friday August 3 in Lom-Pangar during the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the dam, contractors said all things being equal, the calendar of the project will be respected to the letter. “An important step has been accomplished in the project at the end of June with the completion of the construction of a bridge over River Lom. So, the two banks of the river will be accessible during the building time. The next step is the diversion of the river in the next six months after which the dam construction will be made easier. The dam is scheduled to be complete by July 2014 but the power plant will be finished two years later, which means it will be serviceable at the end of 2015 or beginning 2016,” Thibaut Guillemot, Deputy Project’s Manager, COB-ISL, said.
The dam is expected at term to generate an additional 30 MW of low-cost hydropower for rural electrification of the East Region. By storing water during the rainy season and releasing it during dry periods, records show that the reservoir will increase the guaranteed water flow to the Sanaga River from 720 to 1,040 cubic metres per second throughout the year, thereby reducing seasonal fluctuations. In the short-term, it will increase the year-round production capacity of the two existing Edea and Song Loulou hydropower plants on the Sanaga River by 170 MW. Upon completion by July 2014, the dam will improve the reliability of power supply for up to five million citizens and help to lower the cost of power.