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1268 MW: FG plans to generate electricity from new eight plants

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The Federal Government plans to generate 1,268 megawatts of electricity from the concession and development of eight brown and green field hydropower projects constructed through public-private partnerships.

It was gathered that three of the electricity projects were already given to concessionaires, while the Federal Executive Council had approved the concession of another  power projects.

In February 2024, document obtained from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation in Abuja on Friday by our correspondent, it was observed that while three of the hydropower projects had been completed, the remaining five were in various stages of completion.

The document was presented to the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation at its 30th regular meeting by the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev.

The country has been struggling with poor electricity generation and supply, as electricity firms generate and distribute between 3,000 MW and 4,000 MW for a population of over 200 million people.

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The abysmal electricity supply situation has gotten worse since January this year after suppliers of gas to gas-fired thermal power plants stopped supplying the product to the plants due to the $1.3 billion debt of the electricity-generating plants.

The Federal Government has been investing in hydropower plants that use water-powered turbines rather than gas to help alleviate the crisis.

The water resources minister, in the latest presentation from his ministry, stated that there had been tremendous progress in brown and green field hydropower development through public-private partnerships.

“We have conclusively concessioned some projects while still developing others through various PPP models itemised as follows: concession of the 40 MW Dadinkowa Hydropower Project in Gombe State. We have attained financial closure, and the plant is operational, thereby stabilising the transmission voltage in the north-east of Nigeria.

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“Concession of the 30 MW Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna State is up to financial closure, and the plant, which is under rehabilitation, will commence commercial operation in the third quarter of the year 2024.

“Concession of the 40 MW Kashimbila Hydropower Plant in Taraba State. The Federal Executive Council approval has been secured, the concession agreement executed, and the commencement fee paid by the concessionaire to the special concession account as approved by the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning,” Utsev said.

Outlining other projects, the minister said, “Development of the 360 MW Gurara Phase II Hydropower Project in Niger State (engineering, procurement, and construction contract awarded and FEC approval for the concession of operation and maintenance of the power plant through the PPP model secured).

“Development of 136 MW Manya and 182 MW Bawaku hydropower projects in Taraba and Benue states, respectively. This is at the procurement stage and ready to proceed to the Request for Proposal stage.

“Development of the 460 MW Katsina-Ala Hydropower Project in Benue. This is also at the procurement stage, proceeding to the request for proposal stage or negotiation with the proponent.

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“Development of the 20 MW Farin Ruwa Hydropower Plant Project in Nasarawa State. An advertisement for a request for qualification has been placed in the Federal Tenders Journal and national newspapers for value for money to the government.”

Aside from giving the power plants to concessionaires, in a bid to grow the country’s electricity output, the Federal Government has also been making efforts to sell some power plants to raise funds and boost power production.

For instance, on January 24, 2024, it was exclusively reported that the Federal Government, through the Bureau of Public Enterprises, was carrying out transactions for the sale of five power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects for about $1.15 billion.

The report stated that though sources familiar with the development explained that the cost of the plants should exceed $5 billion based on international benchmarks, they revealed that the BPE was planning to sell the facilities at a price that was a little above $1.1 billion.

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The acting Director-General, BPE, Ignatius Ayewoh, confirmed to our correspondent in a brief telephone conversation that “the transaction is ongoing,” adding that “it is not concluded.”.

The BPE boss did not disclose the cost for the five plants, as he stated that he was in a meeting and would not be able to give additional details at the time.

However, impeccable sources at the bureau had named the five power plants to include the 434 megawatt gas-fired Geregu II power plant, located in Kogi; the 451 MW Omotosho II plant in Ondo; and the 750 MW Olorunshogo II plant in Ogun State.

Others include the 563 MW Odukpami power plant in Calabar, Cross River State, and the 451 MW Benin-Ihovbor plant in Edo State.

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It was gathered that the Omotosho plant, which has four electricity-generating turbines, would be sold for about $85 million, while the Olorunsogo NIPP, which also has four turbines, would cost $170 million.

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