The Nigerian Government has confirmed that it plans to start construction of a $5.8 billion hydropower plant in the eastern Mambila region this year, once it has finalised loan terms with China’s Export-Import Bank. Babtunde Fashola, Nigeria’s Power, Works, and Housing Minister, said: We hope to break ground this year if we can conclude the financing. Contracts are in place. We are good to go.”
Fashola said that the China Export-Import Bank would finance 85 per cent of the cost, and the Nigerian Government the rest. China Civil Engineering Corporation will build the 3050 MW power plant over five years, and the facility will include four dams measuring 50-150 m high, along with 700 km of transmission lines.
Fashola said that in addition to this contract, over the course of 2018, Nigeria would increase its total power capacity from 7000 MW to 8600 MW. In addition, transformers with a combined capacity of 1400 MW will be deployed across the country to improve the grid network. He said that the Government is looking to partner with private companies to invest in mini-grid projects and generate an additional 3000 MW over five years. He said that investors were showing interest in this, although he declined to give further details.