Nigeria announces $5.8 billion deal for record-breaking power project
Nigeria has announced the award of a $5.8 billion contract to build what will be the largest power plant in the country. The 3,050-megawatt Mambila hydroelectric power project in the state of Taraba will be delivered by a consortium of Chinese state-owned construction firms.
The megaproject will feature four dams between 50 and 150 meters tall, and take six years to complete, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said.
The Chinese Export-Import Bank will finance 85 percent of the development, with the Nigerian government contributing 15 percent.
“Mambila will have a transformational effect on all of Nigeria’s socio-economic development. It will have considerable positive impact on electricity supply nationwide, productivity, employment, tourism, technology transfer, rural development, irrigation, agriculture and food production”, the minister said through his spokesman.
The Mambila hydropower plant has been in development for over 30 years, but previous administrations have made little progress.
In 2007, the Nigerian government awarded a $1.4 billion contract to two Chinese construction firms for a 2,600-megawatt plant, but the agreement broke down soon after.
Despite being one of the largest economies in Africa, over 40 percent of Nigerians live without access to electricity, according to World Bank figures.
Hydropower, one of the cleanest and cheapest forms of power, is a key target for development as Nigeria is currently exploiting just a fraction of its potential resources.
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