Nigeria has approved the construction of a $5.8 billion hydroelectric power plant by a Chinese state firm.
The project, if completed, could provide a critical source of energy for Nigeria. Despite its wealth of crude oil, Africa’s largest economy has long struggled with weak power infrastructure, leaving many Nigerians dependent on costly and inefficient fuel-powered generators.
The 3,050 megawatt (MW) Mambilla hydroelectric plant has been planned for over three decades. Various administrations have pledged to begin work, signing contracts and memoranda of understanding but next to nothing has been done.
Nigeria’s executive council signed off on the award of the contract to build Mambilla to the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing, told reporters in Abuja.
China’s Export-Import Bank will provide 85 percent of the funding and Nigeria’s government will supply the remaining 15 percent for the joint venture, Fashola said, adding that construction should take around six years.