Nigeria to inventory dams for hydropower potential

Nigeria’s Power Ministry plans to conduct an inventory of existing dams in the country to identify those that could be used to generate hydropower, national newspaper Leadership reported.

Speaking in Lagos, Nigeria Power Minister Riliwan Babalola said the federal government planned to invest 340 billion naira (US$2.3 billion) in various power projects with a goal of increasing installed capacity from the current 4,500 MW to 6,000 MW by the end of 2009.

While much of that investment would go to thermal projects, a potential shortage of gas and a need to explore all energy sources prompted the hydropower initiative, Babalola said.

�I don’t think there is any state in the North which does not have a dam,� Leadership quoted the minister saying. �The issue now is that these dams have been lying there for more than 20 years without being annexed into generating electricity.�

Babalola said the ministry would survey all dams in the country that currently are not utilized for power generation.

�We are going to diversify by using what we have to get power,� he said. �We will identify existing dams across the country for this purpose.�

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