Uche Usim, Abuja
Hopes of having a 1,350 megawatt power plant in Abuja waxed on Thursday as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) have concluded arrangement to sign a $1.16 million grant as part funding for project in government’s efforts at tackling the perennial power challenge in the country.
This was disclosed at a business meeting between the Management of NNPC and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, on Thursday, where both parties agreed to close out the deal on 1st December, 2019.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the plan by the corporation to build the 1,350mw power plant in Abuja was part of the national strategy to monetize the abundant natural gas resources in the country.
Mele noted that the USDTA grant was to complement the ongoing feed project in order to make the Abuja IPP initiative more bankable for strategic investors’ participation.
“As a state-owned oil company and enabler organization, we know that our investment in the Abuja 1,350mw IPP will increase energy supply level with great impact on the nation’s economy. Therefore, the USTDA grant is timely to make it a bankable project that would attract foreign direct investment into the country”, he said.
The GMD assured the U.S. team that every money given as grant to the corporation will be fully utilized and accounted for.
“This company is focused on making our systems and processes transparent and accountable and that is why we are engaging world class institutions with good track record in execution of our projects”, the GMD explained.
He called on the USTDA to look beyond feasibility studies to actual delivery of the project, stressing that the power plant project has a lot of viable investment opportunities for all investors.
In her remarks, the Country Manager, Power Africa and the leader of the USTDA delegation, Jullian Foerster, stated that her organization was determined to work with the corporation to sign off on the grant not later than 1st December, 2019.
She said that USTDA was open to other business opportunities in the coming year, 2020, noting that NNPC’s strategic role as a key player in the oil and gas industry made the U.S. Agency to “jump at the opportunity to work on this deal” of providing support in the form of a grant