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Remarks by Ambassador Robert P. Jackson - USTDA Contract Signing Ceremony

Hilton Hotel | Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mr. Minister,

Distinguished Representatives of Delphos International and Worley Parsons Group,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to witness the signature of these important agreements between the Government of Cameroon and American contractors Delphos International and Worley Parsons.

These agreements will allow Delphos and Worley Parsons to provide crucial feasibility studies for three projects:

•  A project to convert an existing 85 MW Heavy Fuel Oil power plant in Limbe to natural gas and add a greenfield plant generating 315-420 MW;

•  A project to establish a pipeline system for petroleum products from SONARA to markets in Douala and Yaounde; and

•  A project to establish a gas gathering system to collect gas from several offshore sites and deliver it to industries and residential areas.

With feasibility studies in hand, it will be much easier for the Government of Cameroon to find crucial financing to push these projects forward.

I don’t need to tell you how incredibly important these projects are to Cameroon’s energy sector.  Not only do they diversify Cameroon’s energy toward cleaner sources of natural gas, they also increase the energy supply and tap into Cameroon’s large, but disbursed, gas reserves.  In sum, today’s agreements will lead to progress in Cameroon’s quest to develop its energy sector infrastructure and, in turn, create jobs, raise incomes, and boost standards of living.

Over the past four years, the U.S. Government has provided $2.6 million for four separate feasibility studies.  I’m pleased to report that one study, for the Bini a Warak hydropower plant, has finally been completed.

I would like to take a minute to stress what I would like to see with these projects and studies.  These American firms are the best in the world at what they do, and Cameroon is gaining the benefit of this valuable expertise.  In order for Cameroon to make the most of this investment, Cameroon must integrate these projects with proposed hydroelectric and other energy projects.  Finally, Cameroon should continue to advertise requests for tenders as widely as possible to ensure that Cameroonians are getting the best products and services at the best prices.

Cameroon is on the trajectory to develop its power, energy and infrastructure.  I applaud Minister Tomdio’s motivation and determination and I look forward to the realization of the projects we are launching today.

I am also proud of the ever increasing size of bilateral trade in goods and services.  To date in 2011, two-way trade between Cameroon and the United States is up 63% compared to the same period in 2010.  Exports from the United States to Cameroon are up almost 50%, and exports from Cameroon to the U.S. are up more than 75%.  Moreover, in the last three months my Embassy has provided more business services to American companies interested in doing business in Cameroon than in the last two years combined.

Thank you very much.