FG Officially Hands Over Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to Concessionaire

The Federal Government made a significant move on Tuesday by officially transferring the operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to Penstock Limited, a concessionaire selected for the project.

This handover is seen as a crucial step towards enhancing Nigeria’s power generation capacity and addressing the nation’s increasing energy demands, according to a statement released by Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications.

The decision to transfer the project to Penstock Limited comes after the National Council on Privatisation approved Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited as the preferred bidder for the concession of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant back in February 2023.

Interestingly, Penstock Limited was not initially shortlisted among the three companies invited to present proposals for the concession in December 2022. However, the decision to engage Penstock Limited marks a significant development in the project’s progression.

The Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant, boasting a capacity of 740MW, is situated along the upper and middle reaches of River Kaduna in Niger State. Despite being conceived in 1982, construction only commenced in 2013 following agreements with two Chinese firms.

With an estimated project cost of $1.3bn, the facility has been partly funded by the Federal Government (25%) and through a preferential loan from the Export-Import Bank of China (75%).

The plant, once fully operational, is expected to contribute around 10% of Nigeria’s total domestic energy requirements, generating approximately 2.64bn Kwh of electricity annually.

The official handover ceremony, which took place on January 23, 2024, marked the culmination of various efforts to advance the project, including the signing of the concession agreement in December 2023 and the payment of 50% of commencement fees by Penstock Limited on January 5, 2024.

In addition to the progress made with the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant, Vice President Kashim Shettima, who chairs the National Council on Privatisation, highlighted plans to revitalize the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to support Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve food security.

Shettima stressed the importance of modernizing the BOA, leveraging technology, and upgrading branch facilities to enhance its effectiveness in supporting agricultural development.

Efforts are currently underway to finalize a report on the recapitalization and restructuring of the BOA, with key decisions expected soon.

The Council also received updates on other initiatives, including the sale of NITEL/MTEL property and the audit of NIPOST properties nationwide, signaling a broader commitment to reform and efficiency across various sectors.

Leave a Reply