Nigeria Signs $1 Billion Power Project Deal With Chinese Firms

The Daugava river runs through an hydropower station's gate in Aizkraukle

VENTURES AFRICA – As part of her plan to achieve sustainable power by the year 2020, Nigeria has signed a pact with Sinohydro-Cneec Corporation, a synergy of two Chinese firms (Sinohydro Corporation and China National Electrical Equipment Corporation), to build a 700 mega watt Hydro Power station on the Northern Zungeru River, Niger state. The project is expected to gulp 163 billion Naira (about $1 billion).

The agreement which was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power Zainab Kuchi and Du Nan, the vice president of Sinohydro-Cneec Corporation is an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Nigeria and China’s Sinohydro Corporation, last week, to build a 3,050-Megawatt Hydro Power Plant on eastern Mambila Plateau. The two Hydro Power projects are expected to be completed by 2014.

According to the Minister, Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China would bear most of the cost of the Zungeru hydro-power project. Exim will provide 75 percent of required funds while Nigeria will provide the remaining 25 per cent.

Kuchi said the plant will create more than 1,000 employment opportunities. She added that the local contract components of the project would be handled by Nigerian companies.

Meanwhile, a 25-man delegation led by Swedish State Secretary for Trade, Gunnar Oom have express interest in investing in the Nigerian power sector.

Oom said “Nigeria is one of the real powers in sub Saharan Africa. Investing here is the right place and it is traditionally a place for Swede companies. Trade between the two countries has increased by 52 percent. What make me excited are the ambitious plans that you have in Nigeria and it fits so well with Swedish expertise and industries.”

The Swedish State Secretary said he is ”excited by the entrepreneurial spirit in this country and if that is guided to the right direction and you have the right measures, infrastructure like electricity, there’s such a bright future for the country.”