Negotiations ongoing for concession of 30MW Gurara hydro plant —Official

Energy Worth with Agency Report

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, said on Tuesday that negotiations were on to fully concession the 30MW Gurara Power Plant in Kaduna State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is expected to enhance power supply in the northwest part of the country. Mr Benson Ajisegiri, Director, Water Supply and Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the ministry, who made the disclosure, said the Gurara dam would also provide sustainable, cost-effective and feasible option of boosting potable water supply to Abuja.

The director disclosed that the Gurara dam also has 1,800 hectares of irrigation land that has been leased to 11 commercial farmers and individuals especially retirees. Ajisegiri stressed that the retirees were considered to enable them go into full agricultural activities. ‘‘The dam is of utmost importance to the Federal Government, it will also provide electricity to the industrial area of Kaduna so that they can revive the industries there. ‘‘We are just about concluding that, by the time it comes up, you will discover that it can send power to that place and it will improve more industrial activities in Kaduna leading to more employment and so many things.”

According to him, the concession model adopted will allow one concessionaire to take custody of the project for a period of time as determined by the financial analysis. He added that the concessionaire will be responsible for generating hydro power and connecting it to the transmission network made available by the Transmission Company of Nigeria for distribution.

The director said that the ministry is negotiating with the preferred and reserved bidder in line with the guidelines of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), to drive the processes to benefit Nigerians. He said the rule in the guidelines of ICRC stipulated that a Transaction Adviser be involved in the processes. He stressed that shortlisted firms had been given their Request for Proposal and analysed in choosing the preferred and reserved bidder. Ajisegiri added that the processes are being spearheaded by the Project Delivery Team which consists of ICRC, Ministries of Water Resources, Environment and Power, Works and Housing, Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company.

It will be recalled that the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, had said that his ministry had prioritised the 116 uncompleted or abandoned major projects across the country. Adamu also said resources would be deployed towards completing and commissioning all high and medium priority water projects from 2016 to 2019. ‘‘We have concluded a Technical Audit and prioritised the hitherto uncompleted or abandoned 116 major projects that I met in the ministry. ‘‘We are deploying most of our resources towards completing and commissioning all the high and medium priority projects from 2016 – 2019. ‘‘The dam was designed and constructed with the main purpose of supplying water to the Lower Usuma Dam to meet the demand for water,’’ he had said.

Newsmen report that the Gurara dam has world class amenities for hydro-power generation, irrigation, farming, tourism development, and fishery. It is located about 75km from the Abuja city centre and has a crest of 3.2km in length, maximum height of 54m, and a reservoir capacity of 880MCM.