The federal government has directed the contractors handling the 700 megawatts (MW) Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project to meet up with the December 28, 2021 deadline for the completion of the project.
Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, gave the directive while receiving the consultants and contractors of Messrs; CNEEC-Sinohydro consortium for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the 700MW Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project who paid him a courtesy call in his office on Friday.
Recall that Zungeru Power Project is the biggest hydropower project under construction in Nigeria and it’s estimated to cost $1.3 billion.
It is also one of the biggest power projects in Africa to receive preferential loan facilities from the Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of China.
Construction works on the power plant started in May 2013 and were expected to take 60 months for completion.
The Zungeru project is estimated to generate 2.64 billion kWh of electricity a year, which will meet close to 10 per cent of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs.
The minister assured the contractors of the federal government’s resolve to surmount the challenges faced by the contractors in the discharge of their duties which bothers on Security, COVID 19, cost adjustment owing to the extra work outside the contracted sum and the delay in the release of fund by China Exim Bank.
Aliyu further informed the contractors of efforts of the Ministry of Power through the Ministry of Finance to resolve the issue of opening of the escrow account in a commercial bank prescribed in the Subsidiary Loan Agreement with Exim bank of china which negates the current policy of the Government which transferred Government accounts in all the commercial banks to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
While expressing satisfaction at the presentation made by the contractors, the Minister encouraged them to meet the December 28, 2021 deadline of completing the project while assuring them of addressing all constraints that may hinder the delivery of the project.
Speaking earlier during his presentation, the Project Director, Dr JBO Adewumi of Coyne et Bellier (Tractebel) / Decrown consultancy service said the assessed overall percentage of completion of the project is about 90%. He pleaded for the quick resolution of the constraint enumerated.
The Zungeru hydropower plant project is located on Kaduna River, 8km upstream of the confluence with the Gumna River in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State. This is approximately 20km northeast of Zungeru, 25km southeast of Tegina, 43km northwest of Minna and 77km downstream of the Shiroro Power Plant.