28 May 2013, Abuja – The 700-megawatt, MW, Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant situated in Niger State is expected to fully take off with a scheduled sod turning ceremony to be performed by President Goodluck Jonathan today.
The Power plant which is valued at about N163 billion, is expected to be completed in 2018, and is being constructed by China-based, CNEEC-Sinohydro Consortium. The funding for the project will be provided by the Federal Government and the Exim Bank of China on the ratio 25:75 percent respectively.
The project which was initiated as far back as 1982, when the feasibility studies were conducted and submitted to government by a United States firm, Chas T. Main International, and later reviewed in 2008 by French firm, Coyne et Bellier.
According to the chief representative of the consortium in Nigeria, Mr. Ju Shiquan, who spoke with journalists over the weekend in Abuja, processes for the smooth take-off of work at the hydro plant have been concluded, hence, the official sod turning by President Jonathan.
Under the terms of the contract, Nigeria will provide its counterpart funding contribution of about $309 million. The Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi, during the contract signing ceremony for the project early this year revealed that the sum was already domiciled within the ministry.
Kuchi had noted that the Ministry of Finance was expected to finalise all the paper works to activate the 75 percent funding from the Exim Bank of China, from which work would begin at the project site.
The project when completed is also expected to generate revenues to offset the facility from Exim Bank of China.
“The feasibility studies and engineering design was reviewed in 2008 by Coyne et Bellier, and a report which recommended that an installed capacity of 700MW consisting of 4X175MW plants units representing downward review of the initial capacity of 950MW should be adopted, the recommendation was accepted by the ministry,” Kuchi had said.
She also disclosed that the ministry had applied and got a due process certificate of “no objection” for the award of the contract to the consortium from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in October 2012 and subsequently got approval for the project commencement at the 44th meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC.