Cameroon Gives EDF the Go-Ahead to Build Hydroelectric Plant
Cameroon has given the go-ahead to France’s Électricité de France to construct an $850 million hydroelectric plant. The plant will increase the country’s aluminum production by a factor of five. By 2019, it is expected that the plant will be producing 420 MW.
The factory is being constructed nearly 200 km from Cameroon’s capital of Yaounde in the small town of Edea. Edea is home to one of the country’s main electrical production units and also to the only government-run aluminum production facility. However, because of a lack of energy infrastructure and supply, the facility has seen its production drop dramatically—from around 90,000 tons to 60,000. Nearly all of the aluminum produced in Cameroon is exported to France, making EDF’s investment a strategic one.
In order to build the plant, water will have to be transferred from the hydroelectric Lom Pangar dam, which is under construction in the eastern part of the country, to the build site in Edea.
While EDF clearly has a vested interest in the plant, it is also in line with Cameroon’s hopes to establish new, renewable energy sources. By 2020, the country hopes to produce 3,000 MW of electricity. While Cameroon has a large capacity to produce energy, it isn’t meeting its goals, resulting in blackouts that are hurting the country’s economic growth.
Also underway in Cameroon are various solar farms, as well as other hydroelectric dams in Menchum and Bini.
Minister of Economy Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi recognized the need for renewable energy saying, the country “can’t talk about industrialization without available, accessible energy.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.