- The Minister of Power has said that the Zungeru hydroelectric power has been completed and will soon be commissioned.
- Zungeru is the biggest single hydroelectric power project in the country and will provide power generation, flood protection, and water for irrigation.
- Mainstream Energy was previously announced by the BPE as the preferred bidder to operate and manage the hydroelectric power station at $70 million a year for the next 30 years.
The Federal Government under the Muhammadu Buhari administration has completed the Zungeru hydropower project. This is according to Federal Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu. The Minister, who shared insights via his Twitter handle over the weekend, said the project has been completed and is ready to increase the country’s electricity capacity by sending power to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The Power Minister recently paid a visit to the Zungeru site in Niger state, in the company of members of the Senate committee on Power chaired by Senator Gabriel Suswam and the Executive Governor of Niger state, Abubakar Sani Bello. The Minister said that all the turbines had been tested and plans were being concluded for the official launch of the project.
The project is right on schedule as it was earlier scheduled to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2023. It is also important to note that in February 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Nigeria could increase its electricity access between now and 2025 by implementing some important plans like the Zungeru hydropower project.
More insights into the Zungeru hydropower project
Zungeru is the biggest hydropower project in Nigeria and is located 77km downstream of the Shiroro Hydropower Project in Niger State. The Zungeru hydropower project will provide power generation, flood protection, and water for irrigation.
- The project includes a roller-concrete compacted dam (90 meters in height and 1,090 meters in length), an intake tower and diversion tunnel, an underground powerhouse, a power transmission line, and an access road.
- The 700-megawatt (MW) Zungeru hydropower plant is estimated to generate 2.64 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, which will meet close to 10% of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs.
- The Zungeru project is also one of the biggest power projects in Africa to avail preferential loan facility from the Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of China.
- Way back in March 2022, the Minister of Power said the Buhari administration was working to solve load shedding issues in the country’s electricity sector. He said the administration will complete the Zungeru Hydro Plant in a bid to improve the power supply crisis in Nigeria.
- In February 2023, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) announced Niger state-based energy company, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited as the official operator and manager of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power project. According to the BPE, Mainstream Energy emerged as the preferred bidder to operate and manage the hydroelectric power station at $70 million a year for the next 30 years.
- Earlier this month, President Buhari named the Zungeru hydroelectric power project as one of his major achievements in Nigeria’s power sector.