April 02, 2012
World Bank Validates Lom Pangar Dam Loan
There are concrete indications the Lom Pangar Hydropower Project in southeastern Cameroon will kick-off as slated. The World Bank Tuesday, March 27 announced its approval of a US$ 132 million (about 66 billion FCFA) no-interest loan input to the venture projected to haul up Cameroon’s hydroelectric generating capacity by about 40 percent.
The project due execution by the China International Water and Electricity Company, CIWEC, is set to gulp an overall US$ 494 million (about 247 billion FCFA) at completion in 2014. The World Bank credit will be channeled via its poorest-country-funding institution, the International Development Association, IDA. Officials endorsing the loan in Washington said the dam will not only provide electricity for households and business across the Central African nation, but also help stimulate stagnating growth.
The World Bank loan validation brings to three, the number of donor bodies that have so far honored their commitment to help Cameroon build the dam. The state-owned bilingual daily, Cameroon Tribune announced in its March 27 edition that a presidential decree had endorsed separate funding agreements for the project between the State of Cameroon and the African Development Fund, ADF [32.9 billion FCFA], as well as the Central African States Development Bank, BDEAC [20 billion FCFA].
That implies loan approvals are still awaited from the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank. The three donors are expected to provide US$ 163 million [about 81.5 billion FCFA] for the project. It remains unclear if the Cameroon government has already mobilized its own share of US$ 199 million.
While the World Bank, French Development Agency and the European Investment Bank are funding the construction of the dam itself, the additional financing from the remaining donors will be pumped into the erection of a hydroelectricity plant at Lom Pangar, as well as the installation of transmission and distribution lines. The dam will store water in the rainy season for use during dry periods to enable hitch-free year-round power generation.
On the ground at the project site in Lom Pangar, displaced persons have been paid reparations, and residents resettled at a locality christened “New Lom Pangar,” some 20 kilometers away. CIWEC officials say they are satisfactorily marking progress as they clear the site in prelude to the actual start of the works. Elsewhere, a major hurdle involving shifting a stretch of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline has been addressed.
Officials of the Cameroon Oil Transportation Company, COTCO say the over 49-billion FCFA task will span two years, commencing in April this year and to end in June 2014. According to the World Bank, the hydropower project will prove crucial at term in helping Cameroon expand electricity supply. It estimates that less than 14 percent of the country’s rural dwellers have access to electricity.
Article source Cameroon Post Online, posted on The Cameroon News under Cameroon Business News