Five new solar power farms are scheduled to be built in north-eastern Nigeria by a consortium of German renewable energy companies, led by Nigus, a solar power firm.
OGN learnt that arrangements on this have been concluded with the Nigerian government through the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
The five solar power plants will cost the promoters about N183 billion ($600m at N305 to a dollar) to build, and should start operating from the first quarter of 2017.
The NIPC said each of the solar power plant will have an electricity generation capacity of 100 megawatts (MW), bringing the total generation capacity of the five to 500MW.
It also said it was facilitating all the necessary regulatory and operational requirements like the Power Purchase Agreements for the projects.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of an event between the council and the consortium in Abuja, the Head, Overseas Operations of NIPC, Mr. Abubakar Yerima, stated that the decision to build the power plants in the north was reached after several meetings with the investors.
“After several meetings and agreements, we had an MoU signed in the United Kingdom which led to the event of today. Nigus is coming with a complete value chain.
“The LTI Re Energy is part of the investment and this company (LTI) is one of the largest power firms in Europe, it is a German company.
“Nigus is going to start in the North-East with Adamawa State, because the radiation there is one of the highest in the country. They will set up their solar farm and beside this farm, LTI will set its production line, making it a complete value chain. In each of the places that they are setting up their plants, they will generate 100MW,” said Yerima.
He further explained: “They will start with five locations and then expand, so we are looking at 500MW for a start. As soon as they get the licences, they will start setting up their plants and NIPC has met the necessary agencies in the power sector with respect to this. We are now in the final stages of the PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) being approved.”
When asked the cost profile of the projects, Yerima noted: “It is about $600m investment and it is completely a private sector driven initiative. All the investments are coming from the private sector. Where the federal government comes in has to do with the licences and permits as well as all other forms of facilitation needed for a smooth process.”
“The initiative is driven by a consortium of companies and Nigus is leading. So, generally the investments will be in the states in the North-East as well as some in the North-West because of the solar radiation in these regions,” he added.
Yerima equally stated that the move was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of bringing in enough power into the Nigerian economy, as well as the new global concept of promoting renewable energy to cut down on carbon emissions.
On the security situation in the region, he stated that it would not deter determined investors, stressing that despite the tense security concern in Afghanistan, some investors still invest in the troubled country.
“However, the Boko Haram issue has been well taken cared of presently,” he added.
The Chief Sales Officer of LTI Re Energy, Mr. Chris Voet who commented on the planned investments said the first 100MW plant should be ready by March 2017.