By Sunday Elom
Contractors handling the $1,3billion Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project, Li Xiao Ming has assured that the projects will be commissioned this year (2022).
The project, when completed, will be the second largest hydroelectric power project in Nigeria after the 760 megawatts (1,020,000 hp) Kainji hydroelectric power project. The plant is also said to be one of the biggest power projects in Africa to secure a preferential loan facility from the Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of China.
Xiao Ming issued at the weekend in Abuja, said the first turbine of the project, which is expected to add 700 Megawatts of electricity to the national grid will generate 175 Megawatts of electricity.
According to Xiao Ming, the second turbine which will also generate 175 Megawatts of electricity will be commissioned in the second quarter of 2022 while the third turbine is expected to be commissioned in the third quarter of the year. Also, the fourth turbine is expected to be ready in December of this year.
He pointed out said that the plant will provide a huge respite to the epileptic power supply in Nigeria and improve the country’s economy.
“Sinohydro Electric Power Project is the contractor handling the construction of 700mw electricity in Zungeru, Niger state. The project which started sometime in 2013 with a contract sum of $1.3 billion is at the moment 95% completion stage.
The Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project which is being constructed by CNEEC and SINOHYDRO is a 700 megawatts (940,000hp) hydroelectric power plant under construction in Niger state of Nigeria.
Xiao Ming further stated that the project is estimated to generate 2.64 billion kWh of electricity annually. According to him, it will meet close to 10 percent of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs.
He stated that in addition to generation of electricity, the plant will also provide flood control, irrigation as well as water supply and fish breeding facilities to host communities. He added that it is also expected to provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to more than 2,000 people.
He further stated that “Right now, the first unit of 175 turbines is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2022 hopefully with the work progress and workforce we have at the moment the target would be met.
“The dam, like I said earlier, is supposed to generate 700mw of electricity which will add to the national grid and it has four components of 175 turbines each, so the first unit is 175mw which is to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022, then subsequently the remaining three components,” Xiao Ming said.