The construction work on the Bini dam at Warak has been on hold for 9 months and remains suspended until the Eximbank of China is disbursed. The file is however closed and the government ensures to have fulfilled all conditions, including the payment of the insurance costs of the Chinese loan. The northern part of Cameroon thus awaits the 75 MW promised.

In November 2019, after nine months of stoppage, the movements of employees had started again at the construction site of the Bini dam in Warak, in the Cameroonian region of Adamawa, as a prelude to a resumption of work. But, according to local sources relayed by the regional weekly newspaper L’Oeil du Sahel , the hope of the resumption of this project did not last. Everything is stopped again. This time, the Chinese and Cameroonian parties invoke the occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, to justify this umpteenth stop.

However, other sources want to be more precise. “  The biggest problem is funding (FCFA 182 billion, editor’s note). It is a Chinese bank (Eximbank, Editor’s note) which must release this financing and the Chinese are hesitating. If the money is there, the site will be restarted. In fact, the health crisis only came to find that there was not much left to do. And one should not take the risk of contamination of the workers of this project, when there is nothing to do (…) The director of the project said that they are currently in discussion with the Chinese bank. Everything suggests that the talks are on the right track and that it will be unblocked,  ”explains a manager on the site.

However, it is underlined within the government, Cameroon has indeed lifted the financial obstacle which conditioned the release of Chinese funding. Concretely, the State of Cameroon has effectively paid the balance of 4 billion FCFA to supplement the insurance costs of the Chinese loan, estimated at 13 billion FCFA in total. But, despite the total release of insurance costs, the procedure for unlocking Chinese funding seems to drag on, for unclear reasons, thus jeopardizing this project which should endow northern Cameroon with a new dam with a capacity of 75 MW.

According to Invest in Cameroon , this energy infrastructure is however eagerly awaited in the three northern regions of Cameroon, insofar as it will make up for the Lagdo dam, which requires CFAF 100 billion for its rehabilitation. For the time being, the 72 MW of installed capacity of this energy structure is often reduced by half, due to the silting up of the reservoir.

 

Source: Agence Ecofin

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