Cameroon’s energy sector is now dominated by British investments, both in terms of prospects and actual production. On March 6, 2015, it was revealed that Eranove, formerly Finagestion, plans to build a 315 MW thermal plant in Limbé in the South-West. Eranove is 57%-owned by the investment fund Emerging Capital Partners (ECP). In this international investment fund, which manages 1.8 billion FCFA in assets in Africa, the British government’s pro-development institute, the Commonweath Development Corporation (CDC), has a few assets.
On February 3, 2015, the CDC announced its plan to strengthen its position with the Norwegian fund via a strategic alliance that will enable it to acquire Globeleq Africa, the British investment fund’s (Actis) main establishment in the independent production of electricity in Africa. This alliance should enable Globeleq Africa to boost its investments in the electricity sector in Africa, including Cameroon where it is already present with a majority participation in the capital of companies that manage Kribi’s gas plant and Dibamba’s fuel oil plant.
But the most remarkable presence in Cameroon’s energy sector is without a doubt Actis, which acquired 47% of shares previously held by the American group AES Corporation, in Cameroon’s electricity (Eneo).
There’s dynamism, but it still isn’t enough
More discreetly, there are companies such as Victoria Oil and Gas (VOG), which has set-up the first natural gas treatment plant in Sub-Saharan Africa. VOG is also the majority shareholder in Gaz de Cameroon (GDC), which is today’s pioneer in the distribution of industrial gas to established companies in Douala.
Another discreet company is Scotland-based Bowleven, which has a majority stake in the oil and gas exploration company, Euroil. The latter organisation is pursuing the development of an oil project as well as another for gas off the coast of Cameroon on the Etinde. Among the British companies in Cameroon’s energy sector is Joule Africa, which is currently working on a major hydroelectric dam construction project on the Katsina River in the North-west.
For this project, feasibility studies are on-going. However, on June 2, 2014, the company signed an agreement with Cameroon’s Energy Minister to build a 200 MW photovoltaic electrical plant. Based on all that has occurred so far, the engagement of British companies in Cameroon’s energy sector is a tangible reality. Yet, all of this is yet to become an economic opportunity for the nation as this energy source remains inaccessible and too expensive for many Cameroonian households and businesses. (Business in Cameroon)