(Business in Cameroon) - Minister of Public Works (MINTP) Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi (photo) presided, on July 21, 2021, a videoconference aimed at reviving the project of building 55 steel bridges in Cameroon.
During the conference, it was revealed that the government’s ambition was to relaunch and complete the project on hold for two years now. In that regard, “the financial partner and the contractor Ellipse projects SAS France will carry out a joint mission to review some prerequisites before the relaunch of the project on sites where works are still on hold,” the MINTP informed without further details.
He nevertheless indicated that the Ministry of Economy would have to notify the financial partner, Société Générale, of Cameroon’s intent to reactivate the credit line related to the project.
Nineteen (19) of the 55 bridges were supposed to be delivered on March 30, 2020. Specifically, in April 2019, Geoffray Terrain, project manager for contractor Ellipse Projects, explained that 14 bridges would be fully built in 2019 and five others would be completed by March 30, 2020, for an about XAF28 billion cost for the 19 infrastructure.
However, during his address before the national assembly on December 1, 2020, the MINTP stated that the construction works on 17 bridges were still 27% completed with the Elogbatindi- Bipindi bridge (in the South) fully completed while construction works on two others would be launched once the ongoing credit line renewal procedures are completed.
The projects consist of the installation of 27 to 150-m bridges (55 in number) to facilitate access to large production areas in Cameroon; 11 bridges are to be built in the Eastern region, nine in the North-West, seven in the West, seven (7) also in the South while five (5) will be built in Adamaoua and the Centre each. In the South-West, four (4) bridges are to be built, three in the Littoral, and two in the North, and two also in the Far North. The modular prefabricated parts were to be fabricated by Acrow Corporation USA.
This project is the result of a cooperation between Eximbank-USA, which stepped in in December 2014, to guarantee XAF25 billion out of the XAF46 billion loan agreement in the framework of the project, and Société Générale-France, which signed the loan agreement with Cameroon. Ellipse France was selected to install the bridges and assist the project owner.