*First plant becomes operational in 2025
15 April 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal government has signed a deal with Russia’s state-run nuclear group, Rosatom Corp, to build power plants in the country.
According to details of the agreement obtained from the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission, NAEC, up to four nuclear facilities costing $20 billion each would be designed and constructed by the Russian corporation.
The agreement aims to add 1,200 megawatts (mws) of capacity to the country’s electrical grid by 2020, and a further 4,800mws by 2035 as the nation seeks to boost generation and end daily blackouts
The Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Franklin Erepamo Osaisai, told Bloomberg in an interview yesterday in Kenya’s Kwale coastal region that a joint committee has been established in order to facilitate the process with advanced negotiations, financing and planning still underway.
Osaisai revealed that the agreement with Rosatom to cooperate on the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of a facility had been entered in 2012. A further three nuclear plants are planned, taking total capacity to 4,800 megawatts by 2035, with each facility costing $5 billion, Osaisai said. The first Nigerian plant will be operational in 2025.
According to him, the roles of each stakeholder would be assigned contractually as owners of the majority share, Rosatom, would take the lead in terms of operations.
“Rosatom will hold a majority, controlling stake in Nigeria’s nuclear facility while the rest will be owned by the country, with roles to be specified in contracts. The government will enter a power-purchasing agreement for the nuclear plant,” he stated.
The plants will be financed by Rosatom, which will then build, own, operate and transfer them to the government,” he said.
Fossil fuels dominate the current energy mix in Nigeria, although oil production and supply is frequently disrupted, while a lack of infrastructure hinders the monetisation of natural gas.
Rosatom and Nigerian officials met last month within the framework of a 2009 intergovernmental agreement to discuss cooperation, Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov said by phone from Istanbul.
He noted, however, that to date, no memorandums have been signed about the development of a nuclear plant.