The Federal Government of Nigeria has secured $6.15 billion to fund major power sector infrastructure projects in a bid to expand its production output to 25,000 MW by 2025 – in line with its electrification roadmap.
To reach government’s production target, innovative financing and cooperation models have been established under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) –including the President Power Initiative (PPI); the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme (TREP); and the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) infrastructure construction.
The PPI was launched in July 2019 after an agreement between the Nigerian government and German power giant Siemens AG. The project aims to upgrade existing equipment such as power substations, as well as install distribution lines and transformers on the country’s power grid. Siemens AG plans to upgrade Nigeria’s transmission capacity to 7,000 MW during the first phase of the project.
The TREP aims to upgrade the existing installations as well as add more transmission infrastructure such as power lines and electric transmission corridors, among others. Several international institutions are providing their support to the TREP including the French Development Agency (AFD); the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the European Union (EU). A number of projects are currently in development or due to be launched, including the construction of a $29 million, 330 kilovolt, 62Km long transmission line, which will be built between Birnin Kebbi; a $200 million Lagos-Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project; the $170 million Abuja Transmission Ring Scheme and the $274 million Northern Corridor Transmission project.
The NEP is a government led initiative that is private sector driven and seeks to provide electricity access to households and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in off grid communities across the country through renewable power sources. The NEP is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency in collaboration with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other partners. Nigeria wants to develop a data driven off-grid model that could be replicated in other sub-Saharan African countries. The NEP’s electrification target is to provide power to 250,000 SMEs, one million households and 44 universities by focusing on solar hybrid mini grids and standalone solar systems.
To develop the NEP, the Nigerian government was granted a $350 million facility by the World Bank. The NEP comprises three components: solar hybrid mini-grids for rural economic development; standalone solar systems for homes, farms and enterprises and power systems for public universities and teaching hospitals.
The NEP reached its first milestone in December 2019 when a solar hybrid mini-grid power plant was commissioned in the Rokota community, in the Niger State. The 64 kW solar hybrid plant, which features 360 kW/h of battery storage, can distribute a stable supply of power to 326 households in a 10Km radius.
In August this year, government published a call for proposals to select several companies to build off-grid solar power plants in the country. The government plans to build an off-grid and an on-grid system within the Umuchiaka community in Lowa in the Imo state. A similar plan has been established in the east of the country, in the villages of Bantage and Tella. The government also wants to build a solar energy facility in the Bumoundi community in Yenagoa, located in the Bayelsa State which also feature several mini-solar grids. Other plans include several green powered 40 kW mini-grids in Benue State, 50 kW mini-grids in Pakau, Kaduna State and 60 kW mini-grids in Torankawa, Sokoto State. The call for tenders also pertains to the installation of solar streetlamps; electrical transformers and various other projects.
The government of Nigeria has recently shown tremendous commitment to modernizing its existing power production capacities and expanding them, both on-grid and off-grid. With secured funding surpassing $6 billion and three development plans pertaining to transmission and production infrastructure, as well as rural electrification, Nigeria is designing a model to be used by other African countries in their quest for universal access to power.