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Govt’s Hand Over Of 700MW Zungeru To MESL’ll Reduce Power Instability

Managing Director of Mainstream, Audu Lamu, has said that hand over by the Federal Government of over the $1.3 billion Zungeru Power Plant to Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited will drastically reduce the current instability of the national grid. 

He stated that the addition of 700MW clean energy remained critical for Nigeria as part of measures to deal with the environmental impacts of burning fossil fuel. He spoke when the Acting Director General of BPE, Ignatius Ayewoh, presented a certificate of the handover of Zungeru Power Plant to Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited.

According to him, the development would take away the challenges associated with gas plants. Lamu said the company was increasing the capacity of Kainji Dam to 980 megawatts, adding that Jebba is currently about 578.4 megawatts, Kashimbilla at 40 megawatts and now Zungeru at 700MW. 

With the hand over of the plant to MELS said to be the largest hydropower company in Africa with above 2,000MW, Nigeria is, therefore, expected to increase grid connected electricity from the current 12,200 megawatts to about 13,000MW and move the total number of power plants on the grid to 27. Zungeru costs approximately $1.3 billion and is reportedly the largest power project completed in Nigeria over the last 10 years. It also stands as one of the most significant power ventures in Africa to secure a preferential loan from the Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) of China.

Ayewoh, while presenting the certificate to MESL, said under the concession agreement, the Federal Government was required to hand over the hydro power plant to the concessionaire not later than 10 business days from the date of payment of 50 per cent of the commencement fees following which the transition plan as set out in schedule shall apply. 

He said: “The Bureau is, therefore, pleased to inform you that upon the execution of the concession agreement, and within the 15 working days after the execution, the concessionaire has accordingly effected the payment of the first tranche 50 per cent of the commencement fee in the sum of N67.2 million on January 5, 2024 to the Federal Government.”

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