The Federal Government on Tuesday signed a concession agreement for the Gurara 30 megawatts hydropower plant, with North-South Power Company Limited. This is according media reports and a confirmation via a tweet by Tolu Ogunlesi, the Special Assistant to the President on Digital & New Media.
In a statement following the agreement, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu said that all was now set to put the hydropower plant into sustainable operation towards increasing access to electricity in Nigeria, especially in Kaduna State.
The 30MW hydro power plant completed in 2011, was a part of the river dam project to close the Gurara river conceived by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. The Gurara dam is situated 75km from the FCT, in Kachia Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The Gurara dam was designed and constructed with the main purpose of supplying water to the Lower Usuma dam to meet the demand for water in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
- Read more: FG to Move Oil Benchmark to $20 per Barrel, Differ Debt servicing to 2021+: Finance Minister
The Gurara hydropower plant is expected to produce 115GWh of energy annually (a 44% capacity factor). The plant comprises three Kaplan turbines each driving a 12.5MVA alternator with a total power output of 30MW (37.5MVA at 0.8 power factor).
North South Power (NSP) Company Limited was established in 2012 to own and operate a diverse and growing portfolio of electricity generation businesses across Africa. Amongst the assets in the company’s portfolio is the 600 MW Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station located in Niger State, which NSP acquired the 30 year concession for in 2013.
NSP Company Limited had raised N8.5bn 15-year 15.60% series 1 Guaranteed Fixed Rate Senior Green Infrastructure Bonds due 2034 under a N50billion Debt Issuance Program, part of which was designated for expanding the company’s generating capacity by 30MW.
The Green bond was back by Infrastructure Credit Guarantee Company Ltd (Infracredit), a company established by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority in 2017, to provide local currency guarantees to enhance the credit quality of debt instruments issued to finance creditworthy infrastructure assets in Nigeria.
Although the power station was completed in 2011, it has not been operational because it needed the completion of the 110km 132kV transmission line connecting the hydro power plant to the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s Kudenda substation in Kaduna.
- Further read: Saudi Arabia to Voluntarily Cut Oil Production by Extra 1 Million Barrels per Day: Energy Ministry
According to information available on the company’s website, development is currently ongoing on the transmission line needed to evacuate the power that will be generated by the hydropower plant.
The Director, Water Supply and PPP, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Benson Ajisekiri, said the concession process was started on October 25, 2015, and received the final approval of Federal Executive Council on April 18, 2019.
The Director-General, ICRC, Chidi Izuwa, appreciated Adamu for his efforts in the concession process and said the project would not only add 30MW to the existing power generation capacity of the country but would also bring N17.6bn revenue to Nigeria.
The concession agreement was signed on behalf of the Ministry by the Permanent Secretary, FMWR, Comfort Ekaro.