By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
The Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project estimated at $1.3 billion and expected to add 700 Mega Watts of electricity to the national grid will be ready this year, the Deputy Project Manager, Li Xiao Ming has said.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, Xiao Ming outlined the the timelines for the commissioning of the projects.
According to him, the first turbine and second turbine which will generate 175 Mega Watts of electricity respectively would be commissioned in the first and second quarters of year just as the third and the fourth ones also be commissioned in third and the last quarter of the year.
It would be recalled that the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project being constructed by a Consortium of CNEEC and SINOHYDRO is a 700 megawatts (940,000hp) hydroelectric power plant under construction in Niger state, Nigeria.
When completed, it will be the second largest hydroelectric power project in the country behind the 760 megawatts (1,020,000 hp) Kainji hydroelectric power project.
It was also one of the biggest power projects in Africa to secure preferential loan facility from the Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of China.
The Deputy Project Manager added that the project was estimated to generate 2.64 billion kWh of electricity annually to meet the 10 percent of the country’s domestic needs.
Besides, Ming said the plant will also provide flood control, irrigation as well as water supply and fish breeding facilities to host communities and beyond and is expected to provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to more than 2,000 people.
Speaking on the benefits of the projects, the Assistant Human Resources Manager, Aliyu Muhammad Temaku said that the plant will provide a huge respite both to the epileptic power sector and the struggling economy of the country when completed.
“Sinohydro Electric Power Project is the contractor handling the construction of 700mw electricity in Zungeru, Niger state. The project which started sometimes in 2013 with contract sum of $1.3 billion is at the moment 95% completion stage.
“Right now, the first unit of 175 turbines is expected to be commissioned in first quarter 2022 hopefully with the work progress and workforce we have at the moment the target would be met.
“The dam, like I said earlier is supposed to generate 700mw of electricity which will add to the national grid and it has four components of 175 turbines each, so the first unit is 175mw which is to be delivered first quarter of 2022, then subsequently the remaining three components”, he said.