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Nigeria to launch two hydropower projects in December

Felix Oloyede

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Nigeria to launch two hydropower projects in December

The Nigerian government has announced that the Zungeru and Kashimbila Hydropower projects would be ready by December this year.

Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, gave the news on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Power, to defend his ministry’s 2022 budget estimates.

Aliyu, however, explained that the lack of adequate rainfall this year to power the turbines of the important hydropower project could prevent it from supplying the projected 700 megawatts of electricity after its inauguration.

He stated that the growing security challenges in Niger State could prevent the inauguration of the multi-billion naira power project when completed in December.

The Minister explained that the workers who would operate it could only relocate to the site and live there if their security were guaranteed.

He said nevertheless, the 40 megawatts Kashimbila power project would start operation after its inauguration in the second week of December.

Açcording to him, the Nigerian government had paid the =N=10billion owed contractors and that everything was in place for the take-off of the project.

The Mabilla power project according to the Minister was stalled because of legal issues which the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was currently handling.

“The problem with the take-off of the Mabilla power project is the legal issues surrounding it which the Minister of Justice is currently handling. It is only the Minister of Justice that can speak on such high profile legal cases.

“We have scheduled the Zungeru hydropower project for inauguration in December 2021. We have met with the contractors recently and they are looking at December, not on the horizon.

“Perhaps the inauguration could be extended to one or two months into 2022. I, however, told them that we would stick to the December deadline. So, we are still working with the December deadline.

The minister nevertheless said the ministry in collaboration with the relevant government agencies, was working hard to address the challenges.

The Zungeru hydropower project is a 700MW hydroelectric facility being built with the assistance of the government of China on the upper and middle reaches of Kaduna River in Niger State.

The Kashimbila multipurpose dam project was initially designed with an installed capacity of 18MW, however, following the detailed hydrological modelling and yield analysis carried out by Aurecon, a 40MW installed capacity was recommended and implemented.

The multipurpose dam would also have the capacity to generate electricity, and a water treatment plant capable of supplying 60,000 cubic meters of water to about 400,000 people, an irrigation facility of about 2,000 hectares and an airstrip. (VON)

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