Nigeria to Boost Grid with Zungeru Hydropower Plant, Eyes N1Trn Gain

30-Year Concession Begins as Mainstream Energy Solutions Takes Helm of Hydro Project

by Adenike Adeodun

Nigeria is on the brink of a significant energy milestone, with the Zungeru hydropower plant poised to connect to the national grid. This development comes as the concessionaire, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, through its subsidiary Penstock Energy, begins on-site operations. The move is expected to generate substantial revenues for Nigeria over the next 30 years, potentially exceeding N1.058 trillion.

In terms of financial contributions, the company is set to pay over N135 billion for the concession. Additionally, a yearly concession fee of at least $30 million, along with other taxes and royalties, will significantly augment government earnings. Cumulatively, these payments are projected to bring over $1 billion to the government, translating to roughly N1 trillion at the official exchange rate.

According to a report by The Guardian, Usman Umar, Executive Director of Corporate Services at Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, emphasized the importance of clean energy during an inspection of the facility in Minna. He highlighted that the activation of the country’s 14,000-megawatt hydropower potential would provide more affordable electricity in Nigeria and other African nations, particularly amid current energy challenges and population growth.

The Federal Government recently transferred the Zungeru power plant to Mainstream, acknowledging that the company had fulfilled all necessary statutory obligations. The plant was constructed with the aid of a Chinese loan. Umar pointed out that the monetary value of the plant is substantial, but its impact on employment, industrial growth, and economic growth will be far more significant.

Drawing from Mainstream’s experience in efficiently managing the Kainji and Jebba Dams, Umar expressed confidence in the company’s ability to exceed expectations with the Zungeru plant. He also noted ongoing efforts to enhance the national electricity grid’s performance, acknowledging current deficiencies but highlighting continuous improvements and expansions.

Umar’s statement underlines a global shift towards cleaner energy sources, emphasizing the advantages of hydroelectric power over gas in terms of cost and logistics. He affirmed the company’s commitment to harnessing more of Nigeria’s hydroelectric potential, reflecting a broader ambition for sustainable and efficient energy production in the country.

This development marks a crucial step in Nigeria’s journey towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future. It not only signifies a boost in power generation capacity but also aligns with global trends in renewable energy, positioning Nigeria as a leader in the African clean energy sector.

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