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FG transfers operations of Zungeru hydropower plant to private firm

BY Bunmi Aduloju

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The federal government has officially transferred the operations of the Zungeru hydroelectric power plant to Penstock Limited.

According to a statement signed by Stanley Nkwocha, senior special assistant to the Vice-President on media and communications, the move is expected to increase Nigeria’s power generation capacity.

The government’s decision is also expected to play a major role in meeting the country’s growing energy demands.

According to the statement, the concession agreement was signed on December 13, 2023, by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Penstock Limited.

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Following approval by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the concessionaire met its requirement by paying 50 percent of the commencement fees on January 5, 2024, the statement said.

The 740 megawatt (MW) Zungeru power complex, located on the upper and middle reaches of the River Kaduna in Niger state, is said to be Nigeria’s largest hydroelectric project.

The facility is expected to generate 2.64 billion kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity annually, accounting for approximately 10 percent of Nigeria’s total domestic energy consumption.

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“The Zungeru hydropower project will provide power generation, flood protection, and water for irrigation. The project includes a roller-concrete compacted dam, an intake tower and diversion tunnel, an underground powerhouse, a power transmission line, and an access road,” the statement reads.

“The project is expected to provide employment opportunities to more than 2,000 people during the peak construction period.”

The NCP, on February 23, 2023, approved the appointment of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited as the preferred bidder for the concession of the Zungeru power plant.

The three companies prequalified for the deal are Africa Plus Partners Nigeria Limited Consortium (APPNLC), Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL), and North-South Power Consortium (NSP).

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