15 October 2013, Abuja – The 350 megawatt (MW) Gurara II multipurpose dam project located in Niger State is set to become the first private sector-led green field large hydro power project in Nigeria following the conclusion of plans by an American firm, Transatlantic Investment and Development Company (TIDC) to fund its construction.
Disclosing this in Abuja at the weekend, the company’s legal adviser, Mr. Bem Atetan, told journalists that TIDC has completed major milestones in conformity with the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 (EPSRA), adding that the partnership with the Niger State Government began in 2008 when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed during the Governor’s visit to Atlanta, USA, to join the project as equity participants.
He explained that the development was a culmination of years of hard work aimed at the provision of electricity, irrigation, flood control, water supply, fisheries and tourism to the people of Niger State and Nigeria in general, adding that the project would kick-off as soon as a Water License is issued by the Ministry of Water Resources.
“TIDC started work on the project in 2005 when the company commenced reconnaissance studies at various locations in Nigeria before selecting the present site located around the middle Gurara River to generate 350MW of electricity and to also provide other ancillary services like irrigation, fisheries, ecotourism and community development. A pre-feasibility study of the project was completed in 2009,” Atetan said.
Accordingly, he added that the Governor subsequently issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the reservoir area and constituted of a Special Inter-Ministerial Committee to work on advocacy and development of the Project.
He stated that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the project has been carried out which was approved by the Ministry of Environment in January 2009 adding that the company has further embarked on community awareness to ensure a hitch-free project implementation.
Atetan noted that in June 2009, the company engaged the services of MWH, US-based Consultants, working along with Enplan Group and DamTech Nigeria Ltd to complete the pre-feasibility study on the project which comprised of the main report, hydrology and reservoir operation, geology and seismicity as well as opinion of probable cost.