The Maroua (15 MW) and Guider (10 MW) solar plants construction project will benefit from the tax and customs exemptions provided by the 2013 private investments incentives law (revised in 2017).
The related agreement was signed on January 20, 2021, in Yaoundé, by the Investment Promotion Agency (API) and the Maroua Guider Solar Company (MGSC).
MGSC (which is a joint venture formed by Norwegian company Scatec, Israeli-American group Izuba Energy and Sphinx Energy, run by a Cameroonian economic operator based in the USA) was chosen, in 2018, by electric utility ENEO to develop and carry out the said project.
The two plants (which will cost XAF17 billion) will be built by Scatec, a Norwegian company that has the largest solar energy capacity in Africa (400 MW in Egypt, over 300 MW in South Africa, 40 MW in Mozambique, 300 MW under construction in Tunisia …). After completion, in eight to nine months, these infrastructures will produce solar energy that will be sold to ENEO, according to the contract binding the involved parties.
According to our sources, in addition to increasing the installed production capacity in the northern part of Cameroon, the Guider and Maroua solar plants will help save XAF7 to 8 billion in fuel costs every year since the thermal plants operating in that region will be shut down once they become operational.
MGSC shareholders inform that works will start once negotiations for the obtention of solar energy production and sales license are concluded with the State of Cameroon. “This is the first contract of this type in Cameroon. It is, therefore, necessary that all involved parties understand what is at stake. This is all the more important because the state is not a shareholder in this consortium as it is in KPDC and DPDC, which respectively operate the Dibamba and Kribi gas plants. As soon as this license is signed, we will make quick progress in the implementation of the project,” a source close to the project explains.
“As the first solar energy projects of this scale in Central Africa, the Guider and Maroua solar power plants will also produce energy at the most competitive out of plant costs, we learn.
“The kilowatt will come out at less than XAF40. To some extent, these two plants are more competitive than hydroelectricity,” an authorized source says. According to the same source, this power plant model is a real godsent for the diversification of the energy mix in Cameroon, largely dominated by hydroelectricity (61.77%) and thermal (38.2%) energy.