President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the 40 megawatts (MW) Kashimbilla hydropower plant in Taraba State just as the concessionaire, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited MESL pledges efficient operation.
Buhari, who joined the event virtually, said the plant is already delivering electricity to several towns through the switchyard, 132 kilovolts (kV) transmission line, five substations, and 33kV distribution lines in the state.
Buhari said, “The realization of this project demonstrates our commitment to achieving the target of Electricity Vision 30:30:30, which entails the supply of 30GW of electricity by 2030, with renewable energy contributing at least 30% to the energy mix to accelerate the increase in access to electricity.
“Nigerians should also note that other similar projects such as the 40MW Dadinkowa Hydropower Plant in Gombe State and the 700MW Zungeru Hydropower Plant in Niger State are also ready for commissioning.”
The Minister of State Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, said: “The Ministry of Power funded and led the construction of the electromechanical component of the 40MW plant and power evacuation component and phase one delivered five turbines.”
He also said the event marked the beginning of the second phase to build five new 132kV substations and transmission lines to connect it to the existing Yandev substation in Benue State.
The Managing Director, Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd and concessionaire of the new plant, Engr. Audu Lamu, said, “Mainstream/Kashimbilla Power Limited (KPL) Joint Venture has been approved as the concessionaire of the Kashimbilla hydropower plant.
A subsidiary of MESL, Damcrest Energy Limited and KPL were named as preferred bidder in May 2022 by BPE.
“The company has a medium-term strategic vision to achieve 3000MW through its capacity recovery and expansion programme, and acquisition of power assets.
MESL operates the 1,338MW Kainji and Jebba hydro plants in Niger which it is expanding with new 220MW turbines.
“MESL is in the final stage of negotiation for the Zungeru power hydro plants in Niger which will add 700MW to our portfolio.”
Speaking on the new Kashimbilla hydro plant, Lamu, said, “We affirm our commitment to operate this power plant in line with international best practice while keeping to the terms of the concession agreement.”
Certifying the power plant and its concession, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said, “The hydropower substation has been completed to the desired level of quality. It has been concessioned to MESL and it is our hope that by the time the concessionaire takes up the responsibility, it will provide adequate service to the people.”