Nigeria steps up construction of 3,050MW Mambilla hydro plant

Nigeria on Friday signed an agreement with a consortium of three Chinese companies to further the construction of its 3,050 megawatts Mambilla hydro power project located in Taraba State.

The agreement would now see to the construction of the large hydro plant within six years. It also marks Nigeria’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as it agreed in the Paris Climate Change pact.

Also, the project is expected to cost $5.79 billion, and would have its funding come from the Nigerian government and Chinese lenders through the China Exim Bank, on the ratio of 15 and 85 per cent respectively.

The firms which the country signed the agreement with were China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), Sinohydro Corporation Limited (SHC) and CGCOC Group Co. Limited.

Within the deal, the Chinese Exim Bank and other Chinese lenders are expected to provide $4.92 billion representing 85 per cent of the project’s cost while the federal government will put forward $868.87 million which represents the 15 per cent it ought to bring to the table to build the power plant.

Also, the scope of work for the project include four large dams – Nya, Sumsum, Nghu and Api Weir, two underground power house of 12 units of 250MW each, two numbers of 330kV of 700 kilometres transmission lines to Markudi and Jalingo, 120 kilometres of access roads connecting the project site and nearby communities and resettlement of an estimated 100,000 impacted persons.

In August, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the total sum of $5,792,497,062.00 for the project which has reportedly been in the making for over 40 years.

That approval however paved the way for the signing of the contract document with the three firms which are all going to work as a joint venture.

With it also, Nigeria can now look for finances to meet its counterpart funding obligation to the project.

Nigeria’s power minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who signed on behalf of the Nigerian government, said the project would open a huge window of opportunity for Nigeria to harness its hydro potentials for electricity and irrigation purposes.

“The project is a new dawn for Nigeria’s power diversity and energy mix. This project will give us the opportunity for energy security, it will give us the opportunity to comply with our Paris Climate Change Agreement because it will be delivering renewable energy,” Fashola said.

He also stated: “It will provide the opportunity to unlock the gift of nature to Nigeria in Taraba State, agriculture, energy, construction, development. You only need to see the number of applications we have already received from people who want to participate in the logistics, who want to participate in the insurance, Nigerians who are already queuing up to get involved.”