China’s CGGC to Construct $700m Cameroon-Congo Chollet Dam
The China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC) has been selected to oversee the construction of the 600MW Dam.
The proposed hydroelectric power station is located in southeastern Cameroon at the border with the Republic of the Congo, across the Dja River (Ngoko River). The power station is also located close to the borders of the Central African Republic and Gabon
The Cameroonian and Congolese governments have decided to appoint CGGC to undertake the environmental study and construction works for the Chollet hydroelectric plant. Once the environmental and social assessment studies are done, the Chinese company will start constructing the hydroelectric facilities.
CGGC is reported to have been selected through a restricted international tender launched in December 2019.
The appointment of CGGC as the construction contractor for the project comes over a decade after the Cameroonian and Congolese authorities first announced the implementation of a hydroelectric project on their Yaoundé and Brazzaville border.
CGGC will construct this 108-kilometer high dam under a BOT (Build Operate Transfer) contract. The concession agreement for the project was signed on the 12th of April, 2021. The officials in attendance included the Congolese Minister of Energy and Hydraulics, Serge Blaise Zoniaba; Gaston Eloundou Essomba, the Cameroonian Minister of Water and Energy; and CGGC officials.
The dam at the proposed Chollett hydroeletric plant will form an 85-meter high waterfall on the Dja River (also known as the Ngoko River). The Dja river flows along the Cameroon and Congo border before joining the Sangha River, a tributary of the Congo River, at Ouesso in the north of the Republic of the Congo.
The CGGC is now responsible for constructing the hydroelectric dam, substations, access roads, and evacuation lines for the electricity produced. The project is estimated to cost between US$700 million and US$1.2 billion.
The project is scheduled for completion in 2025, according to the inter-state steering committee formed to manage the project.
The 600MW generated at the Chollet hydroelectric plant will be evacuated via two transmission lines to both countries - Cameroon and Congo. In addition, these two countries have also embraced the possibility of selling some of the generated electricity to the neighboring countries of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Gabon.
This new infrastructure is also being built as part of the Cameroon-Congo-Gabon-Central Africa sub-regional interconnection project. This sub-regional interconnection is also supported by financial institutions like the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Photo: Nachtigal Dam, Cameroon (MIGA Twitter Handle | @MIGA)