For the past few weeks, Bouygues Énergies et Services, a subsidiary of the diversified French group Bouygues, has been carrying out construction work on the electric power transmission line (225 kV) to be produced by the Nachtigal hydroelectric dam (420 MW), learned Investing in Cameroon by consulting the newsletter of the Nachtigal Hydro-Power Company (NHPC), the company responsible for implementing the project.
For this phase, it is a question of building the foundations of the pylons which will serve as support for the cables. This phase should last until the end of October 2020, according to information given by the company. Bouygues has been in the field since early 2019. At that date, there was talk of carrying out reconnaissance work on the construction sites of these infrastructures.
Formerly called Electricity Transport and Distribution Company, before becoming in 1999 a subsidiary of the French group Bouygues, this company has no shortage of experience. But his arrival in the project was not very transparent. We are not aware that a call for tenders has been issued for the work it performs. And their cost remains unknown.
Technically, the transmission line under construction will be handed over to the Cameroonian company in charge of transporting electricity (Sonatrel). But it is difficult to say if the market was passed by Sonatrel or by the NHPC whose French EDF (Electricity of France) is the first shareholder with 40% of participations.
In March 2018, the Cameroonian Ministry of Planning signed with the local subsidiary of the banking group Société Générale, two buyer credits with a total value of FCFA 108.6 billion. Their objectives were the construction of energy transport networks in Cameroon and the Frenchman Bouygue was designated for the works. The content of the financing agreements not being disclosed, the assumption that this work should be carried out in preparation for the African Cup of Nations in 2019, comes back with force.
According to its annual results, the share of turnover generated by the Bouygues group’s activities in Africa is just over 1 billion euros (CFAF 655 billion) at the end of 2019. The company does not publish of disaggregated accounts. In addition, it is difficult to read the level of contribution of the African activities of its subsidiary Bouygues Énergie et Services. It is also not known whether the activities of the company Foxtrot fall within this scope. Foxtrot, which is controlled by the Bouygues brothers, extracts natural gas off the coast of Côte d’Ivoire, which it then sells to the country’s gas power stations.
Source: Agence Ecofin