Nigeria, China Sign $1.293bn Zungeru Power Plant Deal.

The Federal Government and China Saturday signed approximately $1.293 billion agreement on a major power project, the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project, in a boost to their mutual cooperation.
Located in Zungeru, a local community in Niger State, 150 km away from Abuja, the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project is expected to generate 700 megawatts of power for Nigeria, Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the signing ceremony.
Agency reports quoted the minister as saying that the contract awarded to two Chinese electric power firms, China National Electrical Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) and Sinohydro Consortium, was to be executed through a loan facility by the EximBank of China, with preferential conditions.
The Eximbank would bear 75 percent of the cost of the project while a counterpart funding balance of $309 million had been made available by Nigeria.
“The project will create thousands of jobs during the construction phase both directly and indirectly. A lot of Nigerian technicians, engineers and artisans and others will be employed during the construction phase,” added Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister for the economy.
She expressed delight at the progress of work at the project site, noting the two Chinese contractors are expected to finish work in 2018.
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Deng Boqing, who signed the agreement on behalf of the East Asian nation’s government, said the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project was significant to the Nigerian people, because it will contribute greatly to economic growth and efforts to meet growing power demand as the country ushers in a new period of industrialisation and urbanisation.
“China and Nigeria share the same dream, that is to bring prosperity and stability to the people, and these visions have been fully communicated by the leaders of our two countries when President Goodluck Jonathan visited China in July 2013.
“The construction of Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Station is one of the many consensuses reached by the presidents of our two countries. Today, the signing ceremony is the fruit of that state visit and we believe more concrete steps will be taken to further boost our already flourishing cooperation and enrich our strategic partnership,” Deng said.
He said the project, when completed, would also help bring the much-needed electricity for economic transformation toward achieving Nigeria’s “2020:20 Vision”.
“The contractors of this project, Sinohydro Corporation and China National Electrical Equipment Corporation (CNEEC), both reputed for professional experience and cutting-edge expertise, are top-ranking companies in the field of engineering and construction. I have great expectations for the two companies. It is their responsibility to ensure that all works are done with good quality as well as in a timely manner,” the Chinese envoy added.
The Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project was conceived in 1982, but due to constraints of funds, construction work could not commence.
The Federal Government approved the project in 2012 in order to obtain more electricity, help maintain appropriate power prices and promote economic growth and development of the country.
In May, President Jonathan said the $1.293 billion power project would be the largest to be built by his administration.