By NOEL ONOJA
Abuja—Work is expected to commence fully on construction of the 700 megawatts (MW) Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant, which President Goodluck Jonathan would perform turning of the sod tomorrow.
The plant which is expected to be completed in 2018, is being constructed by a Chinese consortium, CNEEC-Sinohydro Consortium, with total funding of the project being provided by the Federal Government and Exim Bank of China in the ratio of 25:75.
The project, initiated as far back as 1982 when its feasibility studies were initially conducted and submitted to the government by a United States firm, Chas T. Main International and later reviewed in 2008 by a French firm, Coyne et Bellier, will cost about N162,990,364,379.30 to complete, to add to the country’s total generated electricity.
Chief representative of the consortium in Nigeria, Ju Shiquan, who spoke to reporters over the weekend in Abuja, said the smooth take-off of work at the hydro plant had been concluded, hence, the official turning of the sod by the President tomorrow.
Terms in the contract stipulates that Nigeria will provide its counterpart funding contribution put at about $309 million.
According to the Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi at the contract signing ceremony for the project early this year, the money is already domiciled within the ministry of power.
Kuchi had noted that the Ministry of Finance was expected to finalise all legal paper works to activate the 75 percent funding from the Exim Bank of China.
The project, when completed, is also expected to generate revenue to offset the facility from Exim Bank of China.