Nigeria receives $2.3bn Siemens power project transformers

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

Electricity transformers and substations meant for the $2.3bn Siemens power project have arrived in the country as the project gains traction, Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said on Sunday.

This development follows a few months after the Federal Government renewed its mega power plant contract with Germany and Siemens, following several months of delays.

The Minister said in a press statement on Sunday that the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Nigeria and Siemens to improve power transmission and distribution has been hindered by the COVID-19 outbreak and the death of Mr. Abba Kyari, former President Muhammadu Buhari’s late Chief of Staff.

Adelabu said that Kyari, who died as a result of COVID complications, spearheaded the project and that the project was stalled until President Bola Tinubu came on board.

The Minister, according to his media aide, Bolaji Tunji had said “In 2018, the Nigerian government signed a memorandum of understanding with the German government for the presidential power initiatives, also known as the Siemens contracts. The German government agreed to lend Nigeria $2.3bn and employ Siemens to transform Nigeria’s transmission and distribution sector.

“However, due to COVID-19, significant progress has yet to be made in implementing these projects. Unfortunately, the late Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, the foremost champion of the project, passed away. After that, an election occurred, and a new government took over. Between 2018 and 2023, there were no significant developments concerning the agreements.”

According to Adelabu, the project was supposed to proceed in two phases, but the pilot phase only progressed significantly when the Tinubu government emerged.

“In November 2023, during the visit of the German Chancellor to Nigeria, one of the issues discussed was the need to continue with the project. Recently, there was an African Business Summit in Germany, which was attended by the President, and I was privileged to accompany him to the summit. During the summit, we had extensive conversations with our German counterparts regarding a project, and we were both convinced that it would benefit both countries to proceed with an MOU. We agreed to sign an acceleration agreement to kick-start the project again.

“In December 2023, at COP 28 in Dubai, an affiliation agreement was signed between the federal government, the German government, Siemens Energy, and FGN Power Company Limited. Following this, we commenced the project analysis, and I am pleased to inform you that we are almost through with the project’s pilot phase.

“The pilot phase involved the offshore importation of ten power transformers and ten mobile substations to be used as a Proof of Concept for these projects. All these items have arrived in the country,” he stated.

He noted five out of the 10 transformers have been installed at various locations across the country.

Adelabu pointed out that, to prevent the existing fragility that leads to continuing grid failures, the next stage of the project would involve a transformation of the transmission segment or network by expanding its capacity and enhancing it.

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