Image credit: African Development Bank
For many years, Cameroon’s national electricity supply has been notoriously unreliable and subject to power cuts. The last significant electric system outage, which lasted eight hours, occurred last March and affected several of the country’s regions (the Far North, North, Littoral, Adamaoua, South and Centre regions).
However, three projects financed by the African Development Bank for $121.4 million in 2010-2011 are at last starting to provide long-suffering Cameroonians with much more reliable electricity.
Completion of work on transport lines, line maintenance and especially the replacement of wooden electricity transport poles with concrete poles are all part of the system improvements, whose goal is to increase the quality and reliability of public access to electricity.
The Lom Panga storage reservoir project is complete, but the dam’s generating plant is still under construction. In the meantime, two other power plants, Kribi and Dibamba, have begun working to strengthen Cameroon’s generating capacity.
In November 2011, the African Development Bank awarded $62.9 million for the construction of Lom-Pangar, the hydroelectric generation’s ‘lungs’ in the country’s East region. The project included the construction of a reservoir (6 billion cubic meters of water retained) for regulating the Sanaga’s flow and optimising generation during low water periods at the Song Loulou plant (335 MW) and the Edea plant (224 MW). The production from these two plants has grown from 450 MW in 2011 to 729 MW now.
A 30 MW hydroelectric generating plant is under construction at the base of the dam. It will be linked to the Bertoua thermal plant by a 105 km 90kV line that should start to work in May 2021 following the installation of an evacuation station and the construction of its four turbines. Lom-Pangar will provide electricity to 150 locations in the region and will significantly reduce power cuts in the area.
“The Lom-Pangar dam will help save water in other reservoirs,” said Theodore Nsangou, the General Director of the Electricity Development Corporation (EDC), in an interview with a government publication in March 2018.
The 216 MW capacity Kribi gas-fired generating plant began to work in 2013 after receiving $32.8 million from the African Development Bank in July 2011 for an expansion project. Its production goal is 330 MW. Currently, the power plant has a 100 km 225 kV transport line connecting it with the Magombe substation in the Edea region in the country’s South region. The plant operates with natural gas (with light fuel oil as emergency backup) from the Sagana South offshore gas field.
During the dry season, the Kribi plant and its nine simple cycle gas turbines are truly the system’s “oxygen”, maintaining the country’s energy flow, particularly to the South’s interconnected system, which receives its electricity from Kribi.
The Kribi gas-fired generating plant and the Dibamba generating plant provide access to electricity for close to half of Cameroon’s population.
The Dibamba heavy fuel oil generating plant was also designed to meet the serious problem of power cuts during the dry season. It was the first of the three plants to receive financial support from the African Development Bank of $25.6 million in April 2010. Built to mitigate the country’s shortage of electricity, high demand quickly outpaced its capacity the day after it began operations.
Located in the outskirts of Douala, Cameroon’s second largest city, Dibamba is an 86 MW thermal generating plant with a 2 km 90 kV transport line linked to the network serving the most remote and densely populated areas in the country’s West region.
With an estimated 23,000 MW hydroelectric production capacity, Cameroon has the second largest hydroelectric potential in Africa and the 18th largest worldwide. The country plans to complete the development of its hydroelectric industries by 2035. Construction of the Nachtigal hydroelectric generating plan began in 2019 and will be complete in about five years, with an estimated generating capacity of 420 MW.
The African Development Bank has awarded a funding package of $154.8 million for the completion of this generating plant. Other development partners, such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and Proparco, are also involved.
Wärtsilä renews O&M contract for the 100MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant in Nigeria
Wärtsilä to operate and maintain Lafarge Ewekoro captive power plant (Image: Lafarge Africa Plc)
Wärtsilä, a technology group has signed a 5-year long-term Operation & Maintenance (O&M) agreement with Lafarge Africa Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading building material producers. The agreement covers the 100 MW Lafarge Ewekoro power plant, which provides a dedicated supply of electricity to the company’s concrete and cement manufacturing processes. Signing of the O&M agreement took place in July 2021, and is an extension of a previous 10-year agreement.
The captive Ewekoro plant was supplied and commissioned by Wärtsilä in 2011. It consists of six Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, operating primarily on gas, but with the flexibility to automatically switch to liquid fuel in case of a disruption to the gas supply. Similarly, should the quality of the gas supply be disrupted, the Wärtsilä engines will continue to operate efficiently, delivering an assured and reliable power supply to the facility. Unlike gas turbine plants, the engines will also function efficiently with a low-pressure gas supply, thus providing a huge advantage given the region’s vulnerability to such interruptions.
The captive power plant provides the cement production facilities steady supply of electricity and an efficient use of available natural gas as primary fuel. By having Wärtsilä operate and maintain the power plant, the customer can focus on its core business to deliver construction materials to Nigeria.
“We have benefited significantly from the efficient way by which Wärtsilä has operated and maintained this plant for the past ten years, and we had no hesitation in extending the agreement for a further five years. An uninterrupted reliable supply of electricity is essential to our production, and having our own power plant, built, operated and maintained by Wärtsilä, gives us this assurance,” said Lanre Opakunle, Strategic Sourcing Director, Power & Gas, Middle East & Africa, Lafarge – a member of Holcim Group.
“Lafarge has been a customer with whom we have built a strong relationship over a number of years. Their readiness to renew this O&M agreement is a clear indication of satisfaction with our performance, and of how it supports the achievement of their business goals,” commented Marc Thiriet, Energy Business Director, Africa West, Wärtsilä Energy.
The scope of the agreement includes the operating crew, performance guarantees, plant availability, and spare parts.
Wärtsilä has also supplied Lafarge with another 100 MW power plant located in Mfamosing, Nigeria. With a total of 200 MW of generating capacity to the same customer, Wärtsilä has established a high level of trust that validates the efficiency of the company’s flexible and reliable technology.
Since 2010, Wärtsilä has had a strong presence in Nigeria with a total installed capacity of 667 MW. The company locally employs approximately 90 people. In Africa, Wärtsilä has an installed footprint of more than 7000 MW.
NNPC, EGBIN To Boost Gas-To-Power, Energy Transition
NNPC, The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Egbin Power Plc have pledged to collaborate towards ensuring sustainable power supply and boosting Nigeria’s energy transition through optimisation of gas-to-power initiatives.
The Chief Operating Officer, Gas, NNPC, Yusuf Usman and Chairman, Board of Directors, Egbin Power Plc, Temitope Shonubi, announced both organisation’s commitment to transforming the power sector during a facility visit by the NNPC team to the power plant on Monday in Lagos.
Usman said the NNPC was committed to deepening gas utilisation in Nigeria, adding that the turn-around of Egbin Power post privatization was very impressive and indicative of the expertise and huge investment injected by the Sahara Group into transforming the thermal power plant.
“This visit has been an eye opener for me. We have seen turbines that have been running for over 40 years and still performing optimally through the efforts of Egbin management and employees to achieve a turnaround at the plant through overhaul of the entire system. This is a huge plus for the privatization exercise and positions Egbin to play a leading role as we work towards energy transition using gas which is a clean fuel that we have in abundance in Nigeria.”
Usman assured the power plant of the support of the NNPC, adding, “I have listened to the concerns you raised, particularly, regarding transmission restrictions. I am aware that works are ongoing in this regard to ensure that all the power we generate is safely evacuated.”
Shonubi said Egbin Power Plc had developed a robust strategy for its Phase Two investment expansion plan that is projected to add between 1,750 megawatts (MW) and 1,900MW to Nigeria’s power generation pool. He explained that Egbin’s operations were guided by an unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. “We are mindful of our carbon footprint and continue to operate in compliance with global standards to ensure our energy is clean and our environment preserved for future generations.”
He noted that huge investments and consistent overhauls of the system had played a critical role in increasing its generation capacity “consistently and sustainably” since the plant was acquired in 2013.
He said: “Egbin has 1,320MW capacity. As of the time we took over, the plant was generating 300MW which is abysmal 22 percent. As of today, our generation capacity has surged, and we are doing 89 percent. We hit generation peak of 970MW this year despite challenges many thanks to expertise and dedication of our employees and support of our stakeholders. We are delighted at the tireless commitment of our employees to our vision of lighting up Nigeria and ultimately, Africa.”
Shonubi also acknowledged the support of stakeholders including the NNPC, Central Bank of Nigeria, the Power Ministry, Banks, Transmission Company of Nigeria, regulatory authorities, and the entire power sector, noting that multi-stakeholder collaboration remained critical to delivering uninterrupted power supply in Nigeria.
Power Supply Efficiency: Dangote Cement PLC Partner GE to Digitize Its Cement Plants to Boost Reliability
GE’s APM Digital Solution Will Help Reduce Unplanned Downtime and Enhance Operational Performance
LAGOS, Nigeria, October 24, 2019- GE Will Modernize Seven GE LM6000PC Aeroderivative Gas Turbines and Install Its Asset Performance Management (APM) Digital Solution at Dangote Cement Plants in Obajana and Ibese, Nigeria;Contract Includes Service Agreement Extension for Additional 50,000 Operating Hours for Each of the Seven GE LM6000PC Aeroderivative Gas Turbines; GE’s APM Digital Solution Will Help Reduce Unplanned Downtime and Enhance Operational Performance; GE’s Total Plant Solutions Will Improve Power Supply Efficiency and Help Extend the Life of the Cement Plants
GE (NYSE: GE) and Africa’s leading cement producer Dangote Cement Plc signed an agreement to deploy GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) digital solution to reduce unplanned downtime and enhance performance at its two cement plants in Obajana and Ibese, Nigeria. The project includes extending the current service agreement for an additional 50,000 operating hours for the seven GE LM6000PC aeroderivative gas turbines installed at the sites. GE’s total plant solutions will improve efficiency, reliability essential to continuous operations and the plants’ business strategy.
“Power supply is both a key input and a major cost in our manufacturing process,” said Ravi Sood, Operations Director, Dangote Cement Plc. “Operational performance is crucial to our cement plant’s overall productivity, directly affecting end products. Being at the front of cement production in Africa, we believe extending our services agreement with GE and the introduction of digital solutions will allow us to improve efficiencies, anticipate further reductions in unplanned downtime and become more self-sufficient in power production in a country which, with approximately 190 million inhabitants, is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world.”
APM leverages cutting-edge technology to monitor the performance of power generation assets to reduce downtime, avoid turbines damage and remotely predict and resolve issues. APM sensors will be installed not only on the seven aeroderivative turbines, but also on their associated generators and gear boxes to predict and accurately diagnose issues with greater accuracy before they occur.
“Energy infrastructure is getting smarter, and digital solutions allow not only the shift from traditional calendar-based repairs to predictive maintenance, but they also increase power asset availability and reliability,” said Elisee Sezan, CEO for GE’s Gas Power businesses in sub–Saharan Africa. “We are proud to continue our 13-year collaboration with Dangote Cement to help them support Nigeria and other African countries towards achieving self-reliance and self-sufficiency in the world’s most basic commodities.”
The agreement underscores GE’s commitment to work collaboratively with its customers using the APM software to optimize their performance of assets, increase reliability and availability, minimize costs and reduce operational risks. Earlier this year, GE announced the first digital solutions order in sub-Saharan Africa for Azito in Ivory Coast improving power plant output, reliability, availability and operational performance.
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