Gaston Essomba applauds SONATREL for the Memve’ele-Mbamayo Hydropower connection.

by Fonban Emmanuel

Minister Gaston Eloundou talking to the press
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The Minister of Water and Energy Resources, Gaston Eloundou Essomba, on Friday, 10 July 2020 visited the Mbalmayo power sub-station which is connected to the Memve’ele hydroelectric power station through high tension electric cables.

He was accompanied by the SONATREL boss, Victor Mbemi Nyaknga as well as the Project Manager of the Memve’ele hydroelectric power project and some other officials of concerned establishments.

It was in line with the continuous power deficits that the government decided to engage SONATREL, ENEO and other companies to ensure that there is stability of power supply in Cameroon.

SONATREL is one of those companies renowned in transmission of electric energy and their commitments in building transmission lines in the Memve’ele-Yaounde corridor with some sub-stations is gradually yielding the desired fruits.

Minister Gaston getting explanations on the connections from an expert

Between 25 October 2019 and 07 July 2020, in an effort to increase power supply, SONATREL, SINOHYDRO and EDC worked harder to ensure that the generated power is increased to satisfy the needs of the population.

In the visit to Mbalmayo, the Minister of Water and Energy Resources, was able to check out the Ekombitie sub-station in Mbalmayo operated by ENEO and the SONATREL high tension tower which is located 700meters from the sub-station.

“This transmission line increases the distribution of Memve’ele hydro power plan by 30MW. It is very important. So, with this additional production, we are able to stabilize the interconnect network of the production scheme” said Gaston Eloundou Essomba.

During this visit, the Minister also explained the reasons for power cuts in Yaounde. He told media persons during the visit that, power cuts sometimes are as a result of load shedding occasionally caused by electric poles that fall.

To raise hope, the Minister said ENEO will be replacing 50000 wooden electric poles with concrete poles that are durable and firmer. He reiterated that the government has an agenda to replace the existing one million, three hundred thousand wooden poles in the country. 

It should be recalled that the Memve’ele Hydro Electric power project from its inception was designed to generate 211megawatts with a transmission line of 225kilovolts extending for a distance of 277kilometers between Memve’ele and the interconnection base in Yaounde at Nkolkoumou.

This project has only been realized progressively, thus increasing the power supply over time.

In August 2019, SONATREL was able to increase power generated from Memve’ele from 45megawatts to 60megawatts with the transformers they installed at the 90kilovolts transmission line.

The continuation of these works has been able to produce an additional power supply of 30megawatts which will be helping to stabilize electricity supply especially in Yaounde.

Minister Gaston traces the path of the high tension with experts and SONATREL officials.

The Minister of Water and Energy resources said with these developments, the thermal power plan at Ebolowa, Mbalmayo, Ahala and Oyomabang will be shutdown and only reserved as backup in case of uncertainties. To the minister, the thermal power supply is more costly than the hydroelectric power supply. This was proven in the cost per kilowatts which is 45frs cfa for hydroelectricity and 200frs cfa for thermal electricity.

SONATREL has also been charged to acquire some new transformers to better transmission of electricity before it is distributed in homes for consumers.

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