Matching words with action: Biya sets Northern regions on new dev’t path with solar power plants.
The Minister of Water and Energy Resources, Gaston Eloundou Essomba, made an extra reading of the presidential projects as he inaugurated them Friday September 22. This was during a heavily attended ceremony in Maroua.
Minister Eloundou Essomba reminded the population that the Head of State, President Paul Biya, had announced the major electricity projects on September 29, 2018, when he visited that part of the country.
Eloundou Essomba told the people of the three Northern Regions viz; Adamawa, North and Far North Regions that the solar projects are a testimony of Biya’s commitment to boost livelihoods.
The member of government said Paul Biya as Head of State, has worked tirelessly to ensure the realisation of the solar projects, addressing complaints from the local population and economic operators in the process.
The Water and Energy Resources Minister reminded the people that Biya keeps to his words, reason the sacrifices engaged to address the issue of epileptic electricity supply in the Regions has remained constant.
According to Minister Eloundou Essomba, “the commissioning of these two power stations undoubtedly marks the start of a new era for the northern Regions; One that opens up new prospects and real opportunities for the processing of raw materials and the economic development”.
He underscored that the gesture is timely, given that the facilities are being fully put to use “at a time when the import-substitution policy is one of the main lever for our economic transformation”.
Reminding the beneficiary population that all what has been done was under the guidance of the Head of State, Paul Biya, Minister Elounfou Essomba reiterated that the achievement is historic.
Recalling how work was launched in Guider in the Mayou-Louti Division in the North Region in 2021, the minister said, energy from the solar plants pumped into the North Interconnected network is a “strong signal of a new start for a real socio-economic take-off of the northern regions”.
Plants address 40 percent energy needs of northern regions
Energy from the Maroua and Guider solar plants, the minister said, already addresses 40 percent of the energy needs of the three northern regions.
“The operation of these power stations has considerably reduced the duration and frequency of interruptions to which people and businesses in the northern regions were confronted. In addition, their contribution covers an average of 40% of the daytime electricity needs of the three northern regions,” Minister Eloundou Essomba said.
In Guider, the site housing the solar power station covers an area of 54 hectares. The Maroua site is found in Maroua II Subdivision and covers an area of 30 hectares.
The two plans were commissioned on February 4, 2022, for the Guider power station and February 3, 2023, for the Maroua power station.
Projects prove Biya keeps to his words
Counting the electricity projects realised as additives to others since the last presidential election campaign, Minister Eloundou Essomba told the population that Biya is a man who keeps to his word.
According to the Minister, “it is important to state loud and clear” that the projects realised are “the materialisation of the Head of State's commitment to do what he says, because he always keeps his promises”. The population of Maroua in particular and the Northern regions in general, he said, are lucky to enjoy the fruits of the mandate of greater opportunities of the New Deal regime.
He urged the population to take delight in the projects which are unique even within the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC Subregion.
Biya’s offer, livewire for industrial dev’t, business growth
Going by minister Eloundou Essomba, President Biya has remained unchanging in crusading access to energy as the way out for the development of industries, local transformation of raw materials and growth of the informal sector.
He said Biya is aware that without energy there can be no meaningful development. This, he said, justifies his policy of working to give the population of the Northern regions the best.
Quality energy to support growth, he said, has remained preoccupying. He recalled even when the businesspersons and the population raised such concerns. Today, he said, Biya has listened to them and time for work is now.
45,000 megawatts injected since commissioning, 12 BFCFA saved
Water and Energy Resources Minister, Gaston Eloundou Essomba, also disclosed that since the facilities were put into use, some 45000 megawatts of electricity has been pumped into the Northern Interconnected Network.
The quantity of power he added, is the equivalent of over 12 billion FCFA saved. This, the minister said, would not have been the case if it were produced through thermal power stations.
More in the offing for Northern Regions
Besides the projects already realised, the minister disclosed that President Paul Biya has not ended in terms of offering projects that will boost development.
He told the people that directives have been given for more power to be supplied the northern Region once the Bini A Warack hydroelectric dam project is realised.
Once completed, the project for which the minister said partners are being sought will add 75 megawatts to the northern grid.
Besides that, he also assured that, other electricity projects in the Southern parts of the nation will also benefit the people of the three Northern Regions.
“In the short term, the completion of the project to interconnect the Southern Network with the Northern Network will enable the northern regions to benefit from the production of the facilities built in the Southern Interconnected Network, in particular the Nachtigal dam. The start of this project is imminent, as the tender process is already underway,” the member of government said.
Best environmental practices
As part of government policy to keep pace with environmental changes, the minister disclosed that government is keeping pace with global changes.
The goal of Cameroon, he said, is to reduce green gas emission by 35 percent in 2035. The solar plants, the minister also quoted experts as saying, will pre-empt the emission of 26.000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Enter ENEO GM
The General Manager, GM, of the electricity supply company, Energy of Cameroon, ENEO, Amine Homman Ludiyeon, on his part thanked the government, local population and the Norwegian company for working to ensure the realisation of the plants.
He stated that the first megawatts from the Maroua plants were connected to the grid in January 2023. Next month, he said, the plant will be operating at a capacity of 91 percent.
Meanwhile, the Guider plant which produces 15 megawatts of electricity, the ENEO GM stated, has been functioning at full capacity in the last eight months.
In the course of the project, ENEO, he disclosed, mobilised about 11 billion FCFA to compensate the local population. He said with renewable energy being a new form of power generation to the Cameroonian society, the young people who took part in their construction showed their know-how.
Such the ENEO boss said was their own way of contributing to the development of their country.
He said ENEO remains open to work with government in its drive to develop the renewable energy potentials of Cameroon to foster development.