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FG eye 1,268MW boost from 8 new power plants

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By Usman Oladimeji

3 out of the 8 power plants have been granted to concessionaires.

Nigerians can hope for more stable and reliable electricity supply within the country as the Federal Government aims to boost the country’s power generation capacity through the development of eight new power plants. These initiatives will be carried out in collaboration with private sector partners and are anticipated to collectively contribute 1,268 megawatts (MW) to the national electricity grid. Reports indicate that three out of the eight power plants scheduled for development have been granted to concessionaires, with the Federal Executive Council (FEC) giving approval for another plant.

The remaining projects are anticipated to be awarded in the near future, leading the way for the commencement of construction. A combination of brownfield and greenfield development strategies will be used for the construction of the upcoming power plants. Brownfield initiatives focus on revitalizing and enhancing current facilities, whereas greenfield initiatives focus on building brand new power plants on vacant land. This diverse strategy intends to make use of existing infrastructure while also encouraging the development of new renewable energy resources.

Several projects have been successfully commissioned.

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Utsev shared intricate information about the project, at the 30th regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation. The government is dedicated to enhancing the country’s power situation by forming strategic partnerships and making investments in the sector, he stressed. Utsev mentioned that several projects have been successfully commissioned, while others are being developed using different Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models. One of these projects is the 40MW Dadin Kowa Hydropower Project in Gombe State, which has reached financial closure and is now operational.

As a result, the transmission voltage in the North-East of Nigeria has been stabilized. Also, the 30MW Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna State has been granted a concession, with financial closure expected soon. The plant is currently undergoing repairs and is scheduled to start commercial operation by the third quarter of 2024. The Federal Executive Council has approved the concession of the 40MW Kashimbila Hydropower Plant in Taraba State. According to Utsev, the concessionaire has executed the agreement and paid the commencement fee to the special concession account authorized by the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning.

Kashimbila Power Plant is efficiently functioning.

This development is significant given the current issues faced in Nigeria’s power sector, including constraints in generation and distribution capacity. At the moment, only a quarter of the power plant’s total capacity (40MW) is being utilized and distributed, with 30 megawatts remaining unutilized. During his visit to Kashimbila Power Plant, Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu verified the efficient functioning of the facility, noting the advanced technology in place such as the automated tracking and monitoring system.

Adelabu claims that efforts are being made by the federal government to address the issue of decreasing electricity supply by prioritizing the settlement of outstanding payments owed to power generation companies. During his presentation, Utsev mentioned plans for various projects, including the upcoming construction of the 360MW Gurara Phase II Hydropower Project in Niger State. This project has already received approval for engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, as well as Federal Executive Council approval for the concession of its operation and maintenance through a public-private partnership model.

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Furthermore, the addition of 1,268MW projected from these newly constructed plants marks a significant advancement in tackling Nigeria’s persistent power issues. With a population exceeding 213 million, the existing national grid is unable to adequately supply electricity, typically operating at a range of 3,000MW to 4,000MW out of the country’s total installed capacity of 13,000 megawatts. Nonetheless, experts warn that maintaining a consistent and eco-friendly energy source will necessitate funding for improvements in infrastructure, transmission systems, and resolving limitations in gas supply for current power facilities.

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