Empowering Africa: China Water and Electric Group Completes Construction of Cameroon’s Lom Pangar Dam


All is now set for the commissioning of the 494 million USD 6 billion cubic-metre capacity reservoir dam in Cameroon’s East Region constructed by a Chinese firm, China Water and Electric Group. The temporary handover of the completed facility, whose construction began in 2012, held on Friday, June 30, 2017 at the site of the dam. The project was jointly funded by the World Bank, French Development Agency, African Development Bank, Development Bank of Central African States, and the European Investment Bank.

Empowering Africa


Amongst those who signed documents attesting to the completion of work on the dam was Georges Gwet, the Project Supervisor representing Electricity Development Corporation, EDC, Zi Chaoliang for China Water and Electric Group, Anton Mitev from the Coyne and Bellier/ISL, the French oversight engineering firm, and Jean Edjidji, representing the Ministry of Public Contracts. The temporary handover of the dam followed the visit to the site of an inter-ministry committee on May 31, 2017.


Lom Pangar Hydropower Project is expected to increase hydropower generation capacity, reduce seasonal variability of water flow in the Sanaga River and increase access to electricity. The dam is 46 meters high and 7 meters wide at the crest and is composed of a central overflow section with embankment wings and a saddle dam. The Lom Pangar Power Plant and Transmission Line 30 MW hydropower plant consists of four Francis turbines constructed at the foot of the dam.


The power plant will be connected through a 105 kilometer 90 kV transmission line to the existing Eastern Network at Bertoua. “All outstanding issues have been resolved. Both the Electricity Development Corporation team and those who managed the emergency thermal plant were trained in China for almost two years on how to produce dam spare parts and install them in Cameroon,” Georges Gwet said at the event.

The ceremony witnessed a demonstration by Cameroonian technicians and engineers on how to manage the dam, especially controlling water level and releasing water downstream for electricity generation at the Song Loulou Hydro-dam Station. This assured anyone who still had doubts that the Chinese had indeed ensured the transfer of knowhow and technology to Cameroonians.


Cameroon’s President Paul Biya laid the foundation stone for the construction of the dam on August 3, 2012. “… the energy shortage our country is witnessing remains an impediment to development. In many ways, the lack of energy is detrimental to many sectors of our economy. Our industries, agriculture or even the tertiary sector are recording growth rates which remain below par, for the type of modern and dynamic economy that we want,” Biya told the crowd at the event.

He continued: “By laying the foundation stone of the 6 billion m3 capacity reservoir dam, we will be able to regulate the flow of the River Sanaga and, in the medium term, boost the production capacity of existing power plants such as Edea and Song Loulou and, in the long run, complete hydropower development on this major river. I am referring to the construction of several facilities on the watershed downstream of the River Sanaga such as Nachtigal, Song Mbengue and many others. Electricity shortage will then become a thing of the past,” the Cameroonian explained.


The advent of the Lom Pangar dam brings along a number of other benefits to local people apart from increased power generation. These include job creation, development of business activities, establishment of the Deng Deng National Park in May 2010 for the protection of great apes displaced from the dam area, payment of compensation to villagers who lost land and their resettlement in a new modern village. Others are the construction of access roads and a bridge over River Lom.

“Indeed, in man’s endeavour to control the forces of nature for developmental purposes, he has, by harnessing hydroelectric power, made a decisive step towards modernity. That is why this day (August 3, 2012) will have a special place in the annals of our country’s development,” President Paul Biya said almost five years ago. And that wish became reality on June 30, 2017, thanks to the efficient construction carried out by Chinese firm, China Water and Electric Group. 

Source by: en.people.cn