The China National Electric Engineering Company Limited (CNEEC), which is handling the 700 megawatts hydro-electricity power plant in Zungeru, Niger State, yesterday gave reasons the December 2019 delivery date of the project might not be feasible.
Speaking through the Deputy Project Manager, CNEEC-Sinohydro Consortium, Mr. Xiao Nie, during a tour of Chinese projects in Nigeria, the company said the first unit of the project, which is currently at 47 per cent completion, would be delivered in 2020 instead.
One of the reasons he gave was shortage of personnel, saying the project requires more hands, but due to certain constraints, about half of the required number could only be engaged at the moment.
The project, which is put at $1.29 billion (about N473 billion), is expected to produce a yearly power generation of 2,640GWh and supply electricity to the National Grid.
Contract for the plant was awarded by the Ministry of Power and funded with a counterpart funding from the Nigerian government and loan from China Exim Bank to the tune of $984 million.
On completion, Nie said the plant would significantly improve electricity supply to the area, boost industrialisation in the country and impact generally on the host communities.
Commissioned in 2013, the project comprised four units of 175mw each. While the first phase would be delivered in December 2019, the remaining units are expected to be completed at three months interval.
“The project consists of a dam for storage reservoir for a maximum operation water level of 230 metres and total storage capacity of 11.4×109 meters.
“The dam would be helpful for flood control, development of fisheries and agriculture. The navigable period and the length of the fairway will also be extended,” Nie stated.
Meanwhile, about 3000 Nigerians have been engaged, with majority of them coming from Zungeru, just as Nie noted that the consortium has assisted the host community in different ways, including skills acquisitions for youths.