Cameroon has built the first gas plant to feed industrial energy requirements in sub-Sahara Africa. The country has invested $90 million into the project.
There is huge potential market for gas usage by some industries in Duoala – Cameroon and Rodoe Development Limited has built the first sub-Saharan gas and condensate field at Logbaba to produce safe and reliable natural gas to feed the energy need of most of these industries. Textile and brewery companies operating in Magzi-an industrial estate of Cameroon are the potential beneficiaries of this project.
“Most companies in Cameroon,” according to Jonathan Scott-Barrett, the Managing Director of Rodeo Development Limited, “rely on heavy fuel to power their plants for production despite its high cost and attendant environmental issues, therefore this project will help companies save about 40 percent cost on energy and reduce pollution.”
Rodeo, a subsidiary of Victoria Oil and Gas, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company based in Duoala undertook a market survey and the outcome of the survey provided evidence that, there is potential market for the use of gas by factories for their energy requirements.
When the gas plant is in full operation it will “create 100 full time jobs in order to support the safe production and distribution of gas within the city of Douala and condensate to the Sonara refinery at Limbe” and further enhance industrial development and investment in Douala due to reliable energy supplies which will allow unconstrained growth by energy supplies, Scott-Barrett said.
The supply of gas to companies would help reduce pressure on the National Electricity Grid and reduce pollution caused by the use of heavy fuel, he added.
About 100,000 litres of oil is burnt nearly every day by industrial companies and domestic users in Cameroon. The negative impact of the heavy fuel on the environment is unimaginable. In view of the pollution caused by the companies, sometimes the skies are darkened by heavy smoke from production plants and this makes it difficult for aircraft to land sometimes, Barrett said.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Cameroon has an estimated 3.9 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves (Tcf).
The price for gas is fixed for five years for the companies that have signed an agreement to buy gas from Rodeo Company Limited and it would be reviewed after that period of time.
By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor, back from Duoala, Cameroon