Prof Chinedu Nebo, Power Minister
Jonathan performs ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday
By Chineme Okafor
Construction work at the 700 megawatts (MW) Zungeru hydroelectric power plant situated in Niger State is expected to finally commence with a scheduled sod turning ceremony to be performed by President Goodluck Jonathan at the project site on Tuesday.
The project which was initiated as far back as 1982 when its feasibility studies were initially conducted and submitted to the government by a United States firm, Chas T. Main International and later reviewed in 2008 by a French firm, Coyne et Bellier will cost about N162,990,364,379.30 to complete, thus, adding to the country’s total generated electricity.
Zungeru power plant is to be constructed by Chinese consortium (CNEEC-Sinohydro Consortium) within five years; total funding outlay for the project will be provided by the Federal Government and Exim Bank of China on the ratio 25:75 contribution capacity respectively.
According to the chief representative of the consortium in Nigeria, Ju Shiquan who spoke to reporters over the weekend in Abuja, processes for the smooth take-off of work at the hydro plant have been concluded, hence, the official sod turning by Jonathan.
Terms in the contract stipulates that Nigeria will provide its counterpart funding contribution which is about $309 million; the fund as disclosed by the Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Kuchi at the contract signing ceremony for the project early this year, is already domiciled within the ministry of power.
Kuchi had noted then that the Ministry of Finance was expected to finalise all legal paper works to activate the 75 percent funding from the Exim Bank of China, from which work at the project site would begin.
The project when completed is also expected to generate revenue to offset the facility from Exim Bank of China.
“The feasibility studies and engineering design was reviewed in 2008 by Coyne et Bellier and a report submitted which recommended that an installed capacity of 700MW consisting of 4X175MW plants units representing downward review of the initial capacity of 950MW should be adopted, the recommendation was accepted by the ministry,” Kuchi had said.
She also disclosed that the ministry had applied and got a due process certificate of “no objection” for the award of the contract to the consortium from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in October 2012 and subsequently got approval for the project commencement at the 44th meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
According to her: “With a completion period of 48 months including a defect liability period of 12 months, it is pertinent to mention that the total cost of the implementation of the project is USD 377,723,701.31 plus ¥3,701,664,848,66 plus N44,007,398,398.00 equivalent to N162,990,364,379.30.
The source of funding is from an arrangement with the Exim Bank of China for 75 percent of the project cost while counterpart funding balance in the sum of $309 million is currently available with the ministry of power.
It is expected that that the infrastructure, upon completion would generate sufficient revenue for the repayment of the loan. The consortium agreement is structured to ensure that the parties are jointly and severally responsible for the full implementation of the project.”