Nigerian minister vows to expedite work on four major hydropower projects

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Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing has said the African country will work to expedite construction of four hydropower plants to better secure its energy supply.

Speaking during the unveiling of a nationwide energy efficiency plan, Babatunde Fashola said hydroelectricity would help replace the country’s diesel generating fleet, which has proven vulnerable as fuel supply lines have fallen victim to theft.

Projects in Fashola’s call include the 3,050-MW Mambilla, 700-MW Zungeru, 250-MW Gurara, and 35-MW Dadin Kowa projects — all of which the minister said he hopes to see inaugurated within the next seven years.

Sources report that the largest project, Mambilla, has been in development since at least 1982, with the government even awarding a US$3,8 billion contract to China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. and Sinohydro in 2007. Efforts to begin construction, however, have stalled a number of times since then.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government signed a deal with the Export-Import Bank of China in 2013 to finance Zungeru, though that project too has subsequently failed to move forward as anticipated.

The proposed Dadin Kowa was included as part of the government’s call for reviews last June, though work has yet to begin on it as well.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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