Kribi natural gas-fired power plants’ electrical and automation systems were set for an upgrade. This is expected to increase the reliability of the 216 MW facility whose 13, 50DF dual-fuel engines have been running for over ten years.
Wärtsilä was appointed by Kribi power development company (KPDC) – a subsidiary of Globeleq. The latter is an independent power producer and the owner and operator of power-generating facilities across Africa.
In addition to electrical and automation systems upgrades, Wärtsilä will also support the customer’s operational and maintenance performance in a span of a ten-years. This will include remote operational support, maintenance planning, technical advisory, and remote troubleshooting services, as well as spare parts.
The project is scheduled to start in 2023. It will be carried out on one engine at a time to ensure the continuity of the plant’s output.
Kribi Power is a 216 MW natural gas-fired engine power facility that was commissioned in 2013 and is situated near the coastal city of Kribi. It utilizes 13 Wärtsilä 18V50DF generating sets. The facility sells electricity under a 20-year power purchase agreement between the plant and ENEO, the national utility company.
Natural gas from Cameroon’s offshore Sanaga South gas field fuels the power plant. In a partnership, Globeleq holds the majority of the company’s shares, with the Cameroonian government owning the remaining ones.
Funding Kribi natural gas-fired power plant Project
The African Development Bank (AfDB), and other development finance institutions including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), the Development Bank of Central Africa (BDEAC), Proparco, and a syndication of local banks led by Standard Chartered Bank have signed a loan agreement to provide a EUR 198 million to the Kribi Power Development Company (KPDC).
AfDB is lending EUR 39.5 million while the European Investment Bank has agreed to provide EUR 29.5m in long-term funding for the new Kribi power plant in Cameroon. The availability of electricity for more than 160,000 households, local industries, and small businesses is set to be transformed by the first natural gas-powered power plant in the country.
The project includes a new 216-megawatt natural gas power plant of a new power plant in southern Cameroon, a new 100km high voltage transmission line, and new substations, and transformers. This will make a significant contribution to enhancing the country’s electricity supply, currently estimated at 1,021 megawatts.
The Kribi power project provides a low-cost gas power solution to increase the security of the energy supply, in particular during the dry season, when hydropower cannot be guaranteed.
“The Kribi power plant project will ensure the availability of electricity in Cameroon, essential for daily life and economic growth. The European Investment Bank recognizes the importance of transmission and increased generation capacity for Africa,” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“The European Union greatly supports the Kribi natural gas power project, which will create an alternative source of energy to hydropower and increase productive capacities in Cameroon benefiting trade, job creation and economic growth” stated Ambassador Raul Mateus Paula, Head of the EU Delegation to Cameroon.
“The development of Kribi will help meet the growing domestic demand for electricity and contribute directly to the development of Cameroon’s electric power infrastructure. We appreciate the support of institutions that share our commitment to responding to Cameroon’s critical infrastructure needs” said Jean David Bile, CEO of AES Africa.
The Kribi Power Development Company has been created by the Government of Cameroon and its private sponsor, the AES Corporation, to implement the EUR 263m project. The power plant will run primarily on natural gas supplied from Cameroon’s offshore Sanaga South gas field. The country’s national power utility AES-SONEL will be the sole off-taker of power from the Kribi plant.
The resettlement of 680 households will follow World Bank guidelines to ensure appropriate compensation for the loss of land, crops, and housing.
The project is also expected to be funded by the IFC, African Development Bank, Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), Proparco, and the Central African Development Bank. Support by local commercial banks will be backed by a World Bank guarantee for the benefit of the project.