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Zungeru hydropower plant at testing stage, says Adelabu

Zungeru hydropower plant at testing stage, says Adelabu
April 08
09:39 2024

The federal government says the 700 megawatts Zungeru hydropower plant is now at the testing stage, ahead of the evaluation of electricity from the facility to the national grid.

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, disclosed this while responding to industry questions in a document released on Sunday by Bolaji Tunji, his special adviser, strategic communication and media relations.

The 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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Responding to enquiries on the project, Adelabu said the $1.3 billion project, located in Niger state, has been connected to the national grid, contrary to claims in some quarters that the plant has not been linked.

The minister said the facility had been completed and its concession process concluded.

“The payments by the concessionaire have been made and the official handing over of this plant has been done to the concessionaire, which is mainstream energy limited, who are the current operators of Kainji and Jabba hydroelectric power plants,” he said.

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“The stage we are now in is technical handing over by the Chinese consultants that built the Zungeru hydroelectric power plant to the concessionaire. 

“This is because there is a one-year defect liability, where these contractors need to be on the project site to ensure that whatever problem occurs within one year, they can fix it.

“They are working earnestly with the concessionaire and the ministry of power, together with the Bureau for Public Enterprise to ensure that we conclude the technical handover of the plant.

“I can tell you that the testing stage started yesterday, that the power generation at the plant started yesterday, and that it will last about one or two weeks, after which total production will start. And I can tell you with good authority that the Zungeru power plant can evacuate power.

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“Therefore, it is complete disinformation to say it is not connected to the national grid.”

On February 23, 2023, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) approved the appointment of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) as the preferred bidder for the concession of the Zungeru power plant.

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

The federal government, 0n February 21, officially transferred the operations of the power plant to Penstock Limited — a subsidiary of MESL.

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