China to invest N146bn in Nigeria’s power sector

on   /   in Sweet Crude 6:59 pm   /   Comments

Michael EBOH

China is to invest N146.466 billion ($927 million) in Nigeria’s power sector, in a move designed to boost the nation’s power situation.

China will through its Export-Import Bank provide 75 per cent of required funds to build a 700 mega watt hydro power station on the Northern Zungeru River, while Nigeria will provide the remaining 25 per cent of the fund, put at N48.88 billion ($309 million)

The power plant will be built by two Chinese firms — Sinohydro Corporation and China National Electrical Equipment Corporation.

This is in furtherance to a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed between Nigeria and China’s Sinohydro Corporation, last week, to build a 3,050-Megawatt hydropower plant on eastern Mambila Plateau.

Minister of State for Power, Mrs. Zainab Kuchi, who disclosed this in Abuja, said Sinohydro will build the 3,050MW power plant at its expense and operate it for nine years before transferring ownership to Nigeria.

She said the two hydro power projects planned with the Chinese companies are expected to be completed by 2014.

The Federal Government had a couple of weeks ago, stated that the country is on the path to achieving sustainable power by the year 2020.

According to the President, Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria is fully committed to achieving its set targets in less than a decade, stating that all tiers of government are being mobilized to play their roles in ensuring that Nigeria achieves its targets.

Jonathan also hinted of plans of the government to tap into the opportunities presented by alternative sources of power.

He said, “Our administration is highly committed to strengthening the power sector so that it can efficiently deliver adequate, qualitative, reliable and affordable power in a deregulated market. The roadmap for the reform of the power sector, launched two years ago, brings into practical effect the 2005 Electric Power Sector Reform Act.”

“Hydro power generation sources are being exploited. “Only yesterday we had our initial meeting with the consultants and contractors for the construction of the large Mambila Hydro-power plant that will produce 3050MW.

“The processes for the construction of Zungeru 700MW hydropower plant have reached an advanced stage. Several small and medium hydropower projects are also in progress; as well as solar power projects. An MoU has already been signed with Seimens of Germany for the production of 450MW (with seven states as first phase)”.

“Bauchi State has taken off already. Thirty mega watts coal to power is being pursued under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement as well as a pilot wind power scheme in Katsina with 10MW. Waste-to-power schemes are also being implemented in various states. To support the expected developments in addressing power, we are also addressing other areas that are militating against our growth, including, education, transport, railway-waterways seaports, airports, agriculture, among others.”

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