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Nigeria awards contract for $5.8bn Mambilla hydro power project to Chinese firm

EBR Staff Writer Published 31 August 2017

The Nigerian government has given its approval for the contract for the 3GW Mambilla hydro power project to be built at $5.792bn in Taraba State to Chinese Civil and Engineering Company (CCEC).

The scope of the contract awarded to the Chinese company includes engineering, civil and electro-mechanical works among others.

Nigeria minister of power, works and housing Babatunde Fashola said that the construction of the Mambilla hydro power project would take about six years to complete.

Fashola was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The scope of works is very extensive, it requires the construction of four dams.

“It will involve a lot of preparatory work (and) resettlement ... It will also help Nigeria strike a very big blow on the climate change issue.”

Fashola revealed that 85% of the project funding would be handled by the Chinese government through its Exim Bank while the remainder 15% will be funded by the Nigerian government.

In December 2013, the Nigerian federal ministry of Power had cancelled a construction contract it had given to Chinese firm Sinohydro in the previous year.

The Mambilla hydro power project, which will be built in an area called Gembu, would need construction of four dams across the Donga River. One of the dams will be of 150m height, two of them will be of 70m height while another dam will be of 50m height.

The Nigerian hydro power project will also feature a transmission line of 700km length to transmit the 3,050MW of power it would generate. 

The Mambilla hydro power project has been opposed by environmental groups though who have raised concerns about the possible impact it can have on the environment.

International Rivers, one of the environmental groups opposing the project, on its website stated: “Many fear that Mambilla will go the way of previous large development projects (including large hydropower projects) where contracts are meted out but projects are never built.

“Instead, corporations and politicians pocket the money, and local communities receive few benefits.”