17 February 2015, Abuja – The federal government has again signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a local firm and its South Korean technical partners for construction of 1,000 megawatts (MW) solar plant in Nigeria.
Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said at the MoU signing that the firms, Firstgate Business Intermediaries Limited and its South Korean partners have shown considerate commitment on the project. He thus urged them to work on delivering the projects within the time frame as stipulated in the pact.
Nebo also requested the consortium to tap into the huge power technology abounding in South Korea to deliver quality power plant in Nigeria. He noted that there are solar energy farms in South Korea that could power cluster industries with advanced battery storage systems.
The minister said building such plants requires huge financing, an average of $2 billion to have an operational 1,000MW thermal power plant. The consortium also indicated interest to build such in line with the signed pact.
Earlier, Chairman of the company, Mr. Kelvin Asogwa said it has buoyant financiers, in addition to its collaboration with local banks for the projects. Asogwa promised that the firm also has technical partners from Turkey who are reputed to have excelled in power projects.
According to him, the company has an MoU with the Kogi State government to site the solar farm on s 2,700 hectares of land, saying it is ready to commence the project within three months once it gets the prerequisite requests from the government.
He also noted that it has agreements with its foreign partners to train about 74,000 youths on energy related fields at their operating plants overseas, these youths, he added will then constitute the workforce for the local companies in Nigeria.
“We have planned to work with 74,000 youths. The MoUs we have with these companies say the foreign partners will take our youths and while they are on training, they will be building these companies here and the youths will graduate when the factories are ready to absorb them. They are coming back to resume work in these factories, so the cycle is completed,” Asogwa said.
Nebo thus assured the partners that the ministry will work towards assisting the investors on facilitating the project especially on acquiring the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) amongst others.
In a related development, Nebo also commissioned a 20 Kilowatts (Kw) solar based business hub that will provide un-interrupted power for local hair dressers at the Wuse market in Abuja.
He noted at the commissioning of the solar hub that the project will provide solar energy to power hair driers, fans, clippers and ovens often in use by the various local hair dressers in the market.
According to him, the project will also provide electricity to some grocery stores around to hub. This he added, will be replicated in other markets across the country.
Nebo explained that the primary focus of the project is to encourage the use of clean energy and stem the tide of unhealthy air often infused in the air within the market.
“The project will empower market women and youth operating in the Wuse market. The leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan has directed his foot soldiers to vigorously pursue the dream that ‘no community will be left in darkness, “this has informed this initiative and others like “Operation Light-up Rural Nigeria,” he said.
– This Day