FG mulls $6bn nuclear power plant

The federal government has announced plans to build a nuclear power plant that would generate 1,200 megawatts (MW) of electricity to boost the nation’s power supply.

The chairman/chief executive of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC), Prof. Yusuf Ahmed, who disclosed this at a two-day national workshop on industrial participation in the construction of nuclear research reactor recently held in Lagos, said the bid for the contract for the construction of the nuclear power plant would soon be open.

Though Ahmed was also silent on the cost of the proposed nuclear power plant, stakeholders at the event contended that the plant would cost about $6 billion (about N2 trillion at current official market rate of N415 to the dollar).

Represented by the NAEC’s director of Nuclear Technology Center (NTC), Dr. Tukur Gabdo, Ahmed said the plant would not be funded with taxpayers’ money, adding that foreign investors were poised to fund the project, sell electric power to the Nigerian consumers and recover their investment.

The NAEC’s boss, who added that the second nuclear power plant would be built within 10 years, noted that the site for the proposed plant has been narrowed down to two, namely: Itu, a silent hilly town in Akwa Ibom state and Gereku in Kogi state.

Ahmed, however, noted that the challenge facing the plan to generate electricity from a nuclear reactor “is that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) should upgrade its transmission capacity to a minimum of 28,0000mw up from the current 6,000mw to be able to cope with the power from the nuclear plant.”

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