FG tests 700MW Zungeru hydroelectric power plant

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Federal Government, on Sunday, announced that testing has commenced on the 700 megawatts Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant ahead of the evaluation of electricity from the facility to the national grid.

Similarly, it noted that the $1.3bn project, located in Niger State, had been connected to the national grid, debunking the claims in some quarters that the plant was not connected to the grid, according to The Punch.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu while providing answers to industry questions contained in a document released in Abuja on Sunday by his Special Adviser, Strategic Communication and Media Relations, Bolaji Tunji.

The Zungeru hydroelectric power plant, located behind the Kainji Dam, can generate 700 megawatts, making it one of Nigeria’s largest hydroelectric plants.

Zungeru plant is to generate 2.64 billion kilowatts-hour of electricity annually, meeting nearly 10 per cent of Nigeria’s domestic energy needs.

The facility is designed to control floods, irrigation water, and fish breeding facilities and its construction partners include a consortium of Chinese companies, Sinohydro Corporation Limited and the China National Electric Equipment Company.

According to industry analysts, the project will have a significant positive impact on Nigeria’s power generation and will be beneficial for the economic development of the region.

Commenting on this development on Sunday, Adelabu said the facility had been completed and its concession process was also complete.

He said, “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.

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

Recall that, in May 2023, the Federal Government announced that the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant had been connected to the national grid, thereby boosting the production of electricity in Nigeria.

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