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FG Inaugurates Unit 1 Turbine of Zungeru Hydro-Electric Project

The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated unit one turbine out of the four units turbines of the 700 Megawatts (MW) Zungeru hydro-electric power project in Wushishi area of Niger.

Mr Goddy Agba, Minister of State for Power, disclosed this in Zungeru at the inauguration in company of Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger.

“It is my pleasure to address you all for the achievement of this significant milestone in the generation of clean renewable electricity from the 700MW Zungeru hydro-electric power project for the benefit of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The implementation of the Zungeru hydro-electric power project which commenced in 2013 and the pre-commissioning exercise of the first turbine generator unit being witnessed today marks a step in reinforcing the economic stimulation objective of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,” he said.

Agba said the project has a storage capacity of 11,700 million cubic metres of water, with reservoir that is the second largest in the country after Kainji Dam.

He said the project on completion this year would produce 2,630 Gigawatts-Hours (GWh) of electricity annually.

The Minister said that the project would increase the availability of power across the country as each of the phases was linked to the national grid.

He said that the dam was being constructed with a new engineering technology, utilizing the Roller Compact Concrete (RCC) which reduced completion of the core civil construction period by over two years.

Agba said the implementation of the project was to further enhance the engineering and technical knowledge of Nigerian engineers in line with Presidential Order five, adding that the measure has immensely transformed many of the engineers to world-class specialists.

The Minister said that during the peak of the construction phase, over 5,000 workers were engaged with more preference for locally sourced materials.

He said that when fully operational, over 300 key and highly skilled professionals would be fully engaged to run the facility.

Agba said the dam would ensure water supply to the surrounding communities for dry season farming and drinking.

He said the project would bring about aqua-tourism opportunities among others.

The Minister assured the host communities that they would be adequately compensated.

“We are already working with the state government to ensure that the affected communities will be adequately compensated,” he said.

Similarly, Bello said the project would boost socio-economic activities in state.

Bello, who was represented by the state deputy governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, commended the federal government for creating the Hydro-electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) to cater for the challenges of the host communities of the dam.

Earlier, Dr Johnson Adewumi, Chairman, Decrown West Africa Ltd, the Project Consultant said that the contract was signed on Dec. 11, 2012 between the Federal Ministry of Power and China National Electric Engineering Company (CNEEC) – Sinohydro Consortium in the sum of 1.293 billion dollars.

Adewumi said that the federal government made a down payment of 25 per cent, while Export Credit Loan of 75 per cent was sourced from the Export Import Bank of China for the project which started on May 29, 2013.

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