Cameroon's Nachtigal Dam Project Passes Major Milestone

The 420MW hydro scheme is due for completion in 2024.

By Liz Bains on
7th August 2023

Construction of the 420MW Nachtigal hydropower project in Cameroon passed a significant milestone on 17 July with the filling of the reservoir.

The country’s Minister of Water and Energy Gaston Eloundou Essomba closed the valves of the concrete dam, officially marking its impoundment.

The €1.2 billion (US$1.3 billion) project is due to be commissioned in 2024. Upon completion, it will meet 30% of Cameroon’s power needs. 

The independent power project is being developed by Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC) under a 35-year concession. 

NHPC is a special purpose vehicle comprising France’s EDF (40%), the IFC (20%), the Cameroon government (15%), Africa50 (15%) and STOA (10%).

Belgium’s BESIX, France’s NGE Contracting and Morocco’s SGTM are executing the main civil works, which passed 87% completion in June.

The dam on the Sanaga River, 70km northeast of the capital Yaoundé, is 1.5km long and 14m high, with a 3.3km headrace channel. 

The power plant will house seven 60MW turbines. Some 2,500 people are working on site to deliver the project.

A 50km-long power transmission line connecting the plant to the grid has already been completed.

Photo: Filling the reservoir on the Nachtigal dam (Source: Twitter/X @BESIXOfficial)

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