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Natural high radiation considered for locating N183bn solar power plants in N/East

Contrary to security concerns over installations in North East, the Head, Overseas Operations of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Mr. Abubakar Yerima has explained that the natural availability of high radiation from the sun, compelled the location of multi billion naira solar power plants. However, the decision to build the power plants in the North was reached after several meetings with the investors who surveyed several parts of the country.

It would be recalled that a consortium of German renewable energy companies led by Nigus Group has concluded plans with the Federal Government to build five solar power plants worth N183bn ($600m) in some North-Eastern states.

Yerima said NIPC and the group, each of the solar power plants will have capacity to generate 100 megawatts of electricity.

Yerima told journalists that “After several meetings and agreements, we had a MoU signed in the United Kingdom, which led to the event of today. Nigus is coming with a complete value chain. The LTI Re Energy is part of the investment and this company (LTI) is one of the largest power firms in Europe, it is a German company.

“Nigus is going to start in Adamawa State, because the radiation there is one of the highest in the country. They will set up their solar farm and beside this farm, LTI will set its production line, making it a complete value chain. In each of the places that they are setting up their plants, they will generate 100MW.

“They will start with five locations and then expand; so, we are looking at 500MW for a start. As soon as they get the licences, they will start setting up their plants and the NIPC has met the necessary agencies in the power sector with respect to this. We are now in the final stages of the Power Purchase Agreement being approved.”

NIPC further disclosed the scheme will attract about $600m Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs) and it is completely a private sector driven initiative.

“All the investments are coming from the private sector. Where the Federal Government comes in has to do with the licences and permits as well as all other forms of facilitation needed for a smooth process.

“The initiative is driven by a consortium of companies and Nigus is leading. So generally, the investments will be in the states in the North-East as well as some in the North-West, because of the solar radiation in these regions.”

On the security situation in the region, he stated that it would not deter determined investors, stressing that despite the tense security concern in Afghanistan and Syria, some investors still invested in the troubled country.

First batch of the field amounting to 100MW will be delivered in the first quarter of 2017 and the subsequent one should come up in the second quarter or thereabout, as it takes us three to six months to set up the assembly plant.

Business Hilights recalls that earlier this year, Morocco set an African record as the first country to build a massive field of solar power plant designed to deliver about 10,000megawatt.