Landslide may set back progress on 3,050-MW Mambilla hydro project in Nigeria

A landslide has damaged the road leading to the 3,050-MW Mambilla hydro project site and may hinder progress on the facility, news agencies are reporting.

Other access roads are reported to be accessible only using bicycles, and it is reported that the rivers have no functional bridges.

Investigations into this project, in Taraba State in Nigeria, began in 1982. A $3.2 billion contract was awarded in May 2007 to China Gezhouba Group Company Limited and Sinohydro.

Reports indicate 70% of the total project cost – now estimated at $6 billion – will be paid by Chinese firms and 30% by the government of Nigeria.

Mambilla is one of four projects the country’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing said the country will work to expedite because “hydroelectricity would help replace the country’s diesel generating fleet, which has proven vulnerable as fuel supply lines have fallen victim to theft.” The other three projects were 700-MW Zungeru, 250-MW Gurara and 35-MW Dadin Kowa.

The Mambilla Plateau is the highest plateau in Nigeria, at an average elevation of 5,249 feet above sea level. More than 50,000 people live on this plateau.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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