The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has set aside $2.6 billion budget of $2.6bn set aside for the development of Small Hydro Power Plants in Nigeria.
The small hydro power generation, for which over 300 sites have been identified across Nigeria with only about 20 sites ready for development, is said to be capable of producing up to 3,500 megawatts of electricity for Nigeria, if adequately explored and funded.
Key targets include the upgrade of capacity for local fabrication of small solar power turbines and control systems, establishment of private-public partnerships and facilitating conducive investment environment for sustainable small hydro power generation in Nigeria.
Nigeria is said to effectively generate an estimated 4,000 megawatts of electricity despite a total installed generating capacity of up to 10,000 megawatts.
Following this development, some experts in power generation have urged the Federal Government and other investors support and investments in projects for renewable energy to beef up the electricity generation needs of Nigerians.
However, there is an indication that the rehabilitation of Kainji Hydro Power Plant and Jebba Hydro Power Plant would gulp US$452 million (about N72.32 billion).
Mainstream Energy Solution Limited and RusHydro International AG, it was gathered, had reached an agreement to commence the rehabilitation of the power plants, is expected to increase by 1,300 megawatts.
According to information gathered, this was in line with the five-year cooperation agreement, reached between Mainstream and RusHydro in 2013 with regard to the modernisation of the Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants in Nigeria.
Mainstream Energy stated that its Board of Directors had approved the Capacity Recovery Plan (CRP) prepared by RusHydro, for the rehabilitation of the Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants in Nigeria.
Mainstream Energy said it would spend $452 million for the project and would pay RusHydro a fixed fee for rendered services and additional remuneration for organisation of tenders.
In its concession conditions, Mainstream Energy said it would provide for rehabilitation and modernisation of the power plants and bringing their capacity back to the design level.
The next step for RusHydro International, it stated, would be to assist Mainstream Energy Solutions to prepare tender documentation and commence procurement (tender) procedures for the supply of equipment, construction, and assembly work.
Mainstream said the engineering services provided by RusHydro International AG include development of project documentation, organisation of tenders for equipment supply as well as for installation and construction works and also consulting on operation and maintenance of the plants.
The firm said: “RusHydro International AG implements the project in partnership with Institute Hydroproject (RusHydro Group), Pöyry and Mott MacDonald.”
The Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants are located on the River Niger and have installed capacity of 750 megawatts and 578 megawatts, respectively. Currently available capacity of the plants is substantially below their installed capacity.
RusHydro International AG had, in April, declared that it had completed feasibility studies for the reconstruction of both dams.
In August 2013, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and multilateral financial institution, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), provided a $170 million (N27.2 billion) facility to Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) for the acquisition of Kainji Power station, one of the former assets of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
Chairman, MESL, Mr. Sani Bello, said at the signing ceremony that the facility was for the purpose of part- financing the concession of Jebba Power station and Kainji Hydro Electric Plc.
Meanwhile, the national electricity grid has appreciated to 4,229 megawatts. Statistics obtained from the Nigeria System Operator (NSO), a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), indicated that about 82,000 megawatts per hour (mwh) was sent out on Saturday for supply across the 11 Distribution companies (Discos).
While electricity generation peaked at 4,229 megawatts, there was a significant drop the same day to 2,896 megawatts. The officials said the causes were still tied around inadequate gas-to-power for the mostly gas-based power plants.
By yesterday, the peak generation had dropped by 430 megawatts to 3,799 megawatts just as the other statistics showed that the national peak demand forecast was 17,520 megawatts.
Although there was an installed capacity of 11,165 megawatts across the about 27 power plants, only 7,139 megawatts was available. While the TCN said it was capable of evacuating 7,000 megawatts, the statistics showed that the distribution network operational capability was 5,500 megawatts.