Nigeria will build a mini hydro power plant in the South
Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, approved the construction of a mini hydro power plant (HPP) in the state of Imo in the South of the country. The 10 MW project will be implemented in the water zones of the Otamiri River and the Nvorie River.

The project will provide for the increase of the installed capacity of hydro power plants in Nigeria from 2.1 GW up to 2.2 GW. With respect to this indicator, the HPPs are behind only gas-fired power plants with total 11.1 GW capacity by the end of 2021 (versus 30 MW of the solar panels and 20 MW of the diesel generators, as per the data provided by Ember Research Centre). Domination of gas in the generation balance (76% vs. 21.7% for HPPs and 2.3% for all other sources) is associated with accessibility of the fossil fuel: Nigeria accounts for up to 42% of total natural gas reserves and 18% of total production in Africa, as per the Global Energy Review by BP. In the near future, the country intends to increase the share of gas in its national energy balance. According to Global Energy Monitor, by July 2022, gas-fired plants with total 839 MW capacity were under construction in Nigeria, and the generating capacities planned by the potential investors achieved 21.7 GW.

The new mini HPP is part of the government efforts to achieve 100% electrification of the country scheduled for 2030. According to the World Bank, 55% households in Nigeria had access to electric power in 2020, but in rural areas this indicator was 25%. Nigerian regions try to resolve this problem by building solar power plants: thus, in the state of Lagos hosting the major urban agglomeration in the country, solar generators of total 600 MW capacity are to be commissioned in the near future, which is multi-fold above the existing photovoltaic batteries with total 30 MW capacity.

The new mini HPP will be the first hydro power plant built in Nigeria after 2012, when 100 MW Zamfara  HPP was commissioned. Three other Nigerian HPPs were commissioned back in 1968 (Kainji HPP for 800 MW), 1985 (Jebba HPP for 540 MW) and 1990 (Shiroro HPP for 600 MW) respectively.


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September 2022