GICAM at Eneo!
In order to get a first-hand account of the vision, performance and challenges of companies and different sectors, the Executive Secretary of the Groupement Interpatronal du Cameroun (GICAM) is touring key companies, the main stakeholders in the economy and development of Cameroon.
The GICAM delegation was at Eneo Cameroon on Friday 26 November 2021.
Eneo reviewed the state of affairs in the energy sector, cash flow tensions and operational challenges, the issue of industrial demand vs. production planning and investments in terms of distribution (networks, substations, etc.)
The energy company also presented the improvement of its customer relations and operational performance (Distribution efficiency, fight against fraud, quality of service...), as well as the business opportunities it offers to local business men and women.
What they said at the end of the discussions
Alice Valery Bono, Executive Secretary of GICAM
"Fruitful discussions that will shape our advocacy to defend the energy sector"
"This visit is part of routine visits we organise to understand the business of our members. Our mission is to defend our members and to do so authoritatively, we must understand their business. We had fruitful discussions that will shape our agenda and our advocacy to defend the energy sector."
Eric Mansuy, General Manager of Eneo Cameroon
"We realised this morning that we both share a common interest”
"Eneo is an important industry for the development of Cameroonian’s economy. Our discussions were very fruitful on the financial difficulties of the electricity sector and Eneo's contribution to the development of businesses. For example, there is 340 MW of industrial demand pending. These are cement factories and other industries that are just waiting to go operational and contribute to the smooth running of Cameroon’s economy. We realised this morning that both Eneo and GICAM share a common interest to bring the voice of the private sector before public authorities.
Highlights of Eneo's report on relations with businesses
Supporting industrial growth: New company sites connected to the electricity network
Eneo Cameroon continues to facilitate the connection of industries to the electricity network through its One Stop Shop for Industrial Customers (GUCI).
Since the beginning of 2021, Eneo has been focused on developing its infrastructure to power emerging industrial plants. This is the case of the Dibamba area, where Eneo is implementing a project to build a line to evacuate more than 50 MW of energy from the Edea power station. Meanwhile, administrative formalities are underway for the compensation of the population living along the road. While waiting for this project to be completed, Eneo has upgraded the network to supply PHALUCAM, OLA, PETROLEX and TRADEX Missole. In the same way, the Dibamba-Douala plants of SUNDA INDUSTRIES and HORIZONS FUTIRS will soon be powered.
In the Far North, the solar and thermal projects that Eneo is developing in agreement with the government and in partnership with independent producers has factored in the growth of industrial demand, especially the cement factory projects under construction in the Figuil area.
Deployed in 2020, the One Stop Shop for Industrial Customers (GUCI), contributes to a better analysis of the needs of industries and to the fast-tracking of the procedure for connecting these industries to the network.
The first GUCI connections in 2020 involved a total installed capacity of 16 MW for 4 industrial companies: PROMETAL IV (Bassa/Douala), ACERO HARJAAP (Ngaoundéré), PHALUCAM, World Food.
Eneo is working to meet all the power requirements of the industrialists. To date, the pending needs represent a potential of more than 340 MW of power for industrial projects under development, mainly in the steel and cement industries.
Eneo has informed SONATREL and MINEE of these opportunities for development in the sector. In fact, connecting these large industrial customers implies supplying solvent customers who can guarantee the financial stability of the electricity sector. It is also an opportunity to improve access to electricity for households in peri-urban areas.
In order to meet the industrial demand for connection to the electricity network, there is a need for a significant improvement in the supply of generation and for the construction of new transmission facilities for the transit of energy to the identified households.
Service quality: Large companies experiment with improved services
The improvement perceived by industrialists and other large companies is consistent with Eneo's increased efforts to stabilise the network and business processes.
"The quality of service is improving. The number of breakdowns we have experienced has decreased considerably in recent times, and we are only too happy. Customer relations are also improving over time," says Dr. Eric Tchatchou, Director of Studies and Major Projects at BOCOM Petroleum.
Overall, the number of alerts from industrial customers and large companies for occasional energy failures fell by around 60% between November 2020 and November 2021. This improvement is mainly due to the implementation of Eneo's investment plan. This implementation has accelerated since the mobilisation of CFAF 100 billion from a pool of local banks for this purpose. Eneo's main actions that have a positive impact on the service networks of these companies are:
- The programme to replace decaying wood poles with a mix of new wood and concrete poles. At the end of October 2021, the programme for this year was more than 120% complete
- The maintenance programme for distribution transformer substations. More than 500 substations have been maintained since the beginning of the year, with about fifty being equipped with new cells in Douala and Yaoundé. This has considerably reduced the number and duration of power cuts.
SONATREL's improvement in the performance of certain major transmission substations has also contributed to a better supply of energy to businesses. This is the case for the Logbaba interconnection substation in Douala.
On the commercial front, Eneo is also experiencing fewer and fewer billing-related complaints from its major customers. The billing rate has improved by 3 points. It has risen from 95% to 98%. And the rate of installation of large customers with smart meters has risen in one year from 45% to 90%. Smart meters have the particularity of limiting the risks of errors in reading and therefore guaranteeing more reliable and more available bills.
Opportunities for Cameroonian SMEs and SMIs
Eneo currently works with 700 local companies that employ more than 4000 people. These companies generate some 40 billion CFA francs in revenue per year and act as subcontractors in various activities of Eneo Cameroon, from network construction to technological support, maintenance and commercial operations.
For about two years now, Eneo has been expanding the portfolio in a bid to strengthen local expertise and the production offer at national level. A contribution to limiting imports by stimulating local production. With this in mind, Eneo has stimulated the establishment of an industrial sector for the production and installation of concrete poles. More than 10 small and medium-sized industries (SMIs) have been producing and supplying concrete poles to Eneo Cameroon for 10 years.
Eneo is now working to develop local production or assembly lines for vital equipment that has so far been imported (cables, meters, transformers, meters, etc.).
By participating in this adventure of developing new industrial sectors around the distribution of electricity, Cameroonian business men and women will seize growth opportunities but also actively act to improve the quality of service in the country.
Major challenges for Eneo Cameroon and GICAM
Eneo Cameroon's operational performance is improving. There has been an 18% improvement in service continuity compared to last year. This improvement is due to the massive investment programme launched in 2020 and accelerated in 2021 with the raising of CFAF 100 billion on the local banking market. Eneo Cameroon plans to invest more than CFAF 500 billion over the next ten years.
The efforts currently being made can only continue if certain measures are taken by the government. Key issues to be addressed include restoring the financial balance of the electricity sector and better coordination of activities in the sector.
GICAM can contribute to the removal of these obstacles by making them a cause.
More information about the company can be found at www.eneocameroon.cm
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