October 9, 2012

New Bitumen Plant for Cameroon

The government of Cameroon has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an Indian firm, Seftech India Private Limited, for it to carry out feasibilities studies for the setting up of a bitumen plant for the production of material for all-weather roads in the country. Energy and Water Resources Minister, Basile Atangana Kouna, and Seftech India Private Limited's Executive Director, Ranjeet Chaturvedi, signed the agreement in Yaounde on September 4.

In a speech, Dr Atangana Kouna noted that in this era of Greater Accomplishments, bitumen constitutes one of the major inputs in the infrastructural projects. "However, Cameroon still relies only on imports for its bitumen needs. This contributes to the very high cost of some of our infrastructural projects and greatly limits our capacity to develop and expand our road network," he said. Statistic from the Ministry of Public Works, the Minister indicated, shows that the country currently consumes about 40,000 tons of bitumen a year and is expected to increase with the announced major road works underway.

The feasibility studies will be based on 100,000 metric tons per annum capacity plant to be located either onsite or offsite SONARA facilities in Limbe, South West Region. "If the studies are conclusive, Seftech has undertaken to help the government of Cameroon obtain the necessary financial resources from the Indian Exim Bank with a possibility of signing a service contract with Cameroon under a Design, Build and Transfer (DBT) agreement. It is going to be the first bitumen plant in the whole of Central Africa and it is our hope to become a major supplier of bitumen to neighbouring countries in the nearest future," the Minister said. The terms of the agreement also stipulate that Seftech can identify a potential site for the setting up of the bitumen plant, if the same cannot be undertaken under the expansion plans of SONARA refinery. It will also select a Bitumen Reactor Licensor, basic engineering package, front and engineering design, detailed engineering as well as the project's financing.

According to Ranjeet Chaturvedi, the project is targeted to be completed by 2015 if all studies are conducted within the framework of the MoU and if financing is arranged subsequently.

Source- AllAfrica.com 
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