The Federal Government has activated a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between it and a Chinese Consortium Sinohydro/CNEEC Corporation for the immediate commencement of work on the construction of 700 Mega Watts (MW) Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project in Niger State.
This followed the nod given to the contract by the Federal Executive Council some weeks ago.
The construction of the plant is coming 30 years after government first did a feasibility study on it.
Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, who spoke at the signing of the contract in Abuja, said, the project, which is valued at N162. 9 billion, would be completed in 48 months and that on completion, the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) would be invited to privatize the plant like other utilities in the power sector.
The ministry assured that it would immediately release the sum of $309 million representing 25 per cent of government’s counterpart funding for the project while the Exim Bank of China is to provide the remaining 75 per cent of the contract sum.
The eventual managers of the plant are expected to generate sufficient revenue for repayment of the loan when the plant generation takes off.