Nigeria: Zungeru Hydroelectric Plant to Deliver First MW in December

Work is near of completion at the Zungeru hydropower project site. According to the Niger State government’s plans, the hydroelectric plant will deliver its 1st MW this year in December. The announcement was made after an inspection visit by local authorities to the project site. According to Abubakar Sani Bello, the governor of Niger State, the 1st turbine of the Zungeru hydropower plant will be commissioned this year in December.

“This is a breakthrough for us in Niger State. It is to be celebrated, we hope that when the project is delivered, it will enhance power generation, economic activities and many other things,” Governor Abubakar Sani Bello enthuses. The other 3 turbines will be commissioned next year in 2022. The facility, built by the Nigerian federal government, is approaching its operational phase, 8 years after construction began.

A Project Financed By China

A few weeks ago, Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises launched a call for tenders to recruit a company to assist in the concession process of the Zungeru hydroelectric plant. The facility will operate with a roller compacted concrete dam built on the Kaduna River, a tributary of the Niger River. The dam has a height of 101 mtr and a length of 233 mtr, forming a reservoir capable of storing 10.4 billion m3 of water. The underground power plant behind the dam will be equipped with 4 turbines of 175 MW each.

The power station will have a capacity of 700 MW and an annual production of 2,630 GWh. Zungeru will become the 2nd largest hydroelectric facility in Nigeria, after the 760 MW Kainji hydroelectric plant. The Zungeru hydropower project cost USD1.3 billion, financed 75per cent through a loan from Exim Bank of China and 25 per cent by the Nigerian federal government. The infrastructure is being built by a consortium formed by China National Electric Engineering Company and Sinohydro, a subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China.