Nigeria To Partner China To Build $5.8 Billion Power Plant In 2018

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Nigeria is in talks with China’s Export Import-Import Bank for a loan agreement in order to commence construction of a $5.8 billion hydro-power plant which is to be located in the Eastern region of Mambila.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola in a Bloomberg interview on January 23 at Abuja assured that the Ministry was poised to embark on the project once the loan terms were agreed on and financing concluded.

“This is to reduce the level of power outages in the Country by increasing supply of electricity to boost economic growth. The bulk of financing will be from the foreign lender who will finance 85 percent of the estimated expenditure while Nigeria will provide the remaining 15 percent,” the minister disclosed.

According to him, the 3,050 megawatt power plant will be built by the China Civil Engineering Corp within five years with the plant having four dams of over 50metres(164 meters high) with a distance of 700 kilometers (435) miles of transmission lines.

With this new development in place, it is the hope of the Government power production will go from the current 7,000 megawatts to 8,600 megawatts. Further plans are to ensure supply of transformers with a combined capacity of 1,400 megawatts nationwide for better electrical supply as well as more efficient distribution of electricity. The current distribution being 5,000 megawatts.

The Minister also revealed the Government’s intention to partner with private companies for investment opportunities in Nigeria in the areas of mini power projects and generation of additional 3,000 megawatts of electricity for five year duration.

In the face of approved solar power projects which failed to get financing, he was of the opinion that such projects must be reassessed.

“They should rethink their models and begin to look at estates and communities.”

As regards the issue of unreasonable billing by some distribution companies, Fashola said the Government has decided to create regulations to put an end to such.
“We want to open the meter market because the core business of a distributor is not metering but distribution of energy.”

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