YAOUNDE, Cameroon 3/22/12 (PennWell) -- Emerging markets energy developer Joule Africa and the Republic of Cameroon have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a new 450-MW hydroelectric plant.
The US$1 billion Kpep hydropower facility, to be located on the Katsina-Ala River near the Nigerian border, will increase Cameroon's installed capacity by at least 40%, according to a Joule Africa release.
Cameroon has identified increased power capacity as a key catalyst in realizing the country's goal of becoming an emerging economy by 2035, and the country's demand for electricity is expected to triple over the coming decade.
"Independent power projects such as this one with Joule Africa are at the core of the government of Cameroon's strategy for increasing access to water and energy," says Basile Atangana Kouna, minister of water resources and energy. "The involvement of the private sector is key to building necessary infrastructure and to realizing the development goals that the country has set.
Joule Africa says it will begin development with local partner Bethel Industrievertretung of Bamenda-Cameroon and European engineering firm Lahmeyer International.
Joule Africa is a member of the U.S.-based Joule Investments Group and is also currently working on Sierra Leone's 50-MW Bumbuna hydropower project.
Cameroon is also workin on its 56-MW Lom Pangar plant, which received a $71.1 million loan from the African Development Bank in November 2011.