Nigeria: Bulk trader, 12 firms sign pact for 975 MW solar projects

Jul 05, 2016 12:00 AM

The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) yesterday signed pacts with 12 firms who would construct solar power plants in eight states and generate a cumulative 975 megawatts (MW) into the electricity grid.

Speaking after the signing the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in Abuja, the acting Managing Director, Mr Waziri Bintube said the massive solar investment is a revolution on diversifying the energy mix due to the present constraints on gas supply to the thermal stations.

He said Nigeria's electricity supply presently relies on 86 per cent gas-fired plants and 14 per cent hydropower without any solar input. Mr. Waziri said 10 of the firms have foreign developers who are willing to bring in about $2 million to $2.5 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the economy.

Explaining the value of the PPA, the NBET boss said it is the document that guarantees off takers to gather finance and invest in the projects as they have assurance that the power produced will be bought over by the Federal Government boosted by the World Bank's Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) assurance.

NBET said with the PPAs handy, the firms expect an approval from the regulator, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and proceed for a financial close within 12 months when they will flag off site works.

Construction of the plants to be sited in Enugu, FCT, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Bauchi and Plateau states is expected to happen within 12 to 18 months after their financial close by year ending. The power generated on completion will be evacuated into the national grid through the substations to be built at some of the sites, the investors said.

The Bulk Trader acting as intermediaries between Generation companies (Gencos) and Distribution companies (Discos) said the generated electricity will be fed first into the Disco where the plants are sited and that would boost supply across four Discos comprising Jos, Kano, Enugu, and Abuja.

One of the firms, Nigeria Solar Capital Partners said it is doing 135 megawatts (MW) plant in Ganjuwa LGA of Bauchi state valued at $200 million. The Managing Director, Joel Abrams said the 15-month project will create 1,000 jobs in the state when the site work starts before June 2017.

AfriNigeria, another firm doing 50 MW in Garaku town of Nasarawa State said the on-grid project would cost $100 million.The plant will be operational in 18 months after its financial close, the Chairman, Mr. Bestman Uwadia said.

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