Energy Minister Edmund Doukoru announced the approval after a February 7 council meeting led by President Olusegun Obasanjo. He said the work would be performed through strategic partnership with Chinese companies that are expected to complete the work in five years.
AFX News service identified the firms as China Gezhouba Group Corp., builder of China's 18,200-MW Three Gorges Dam, and China Geo-Engineering Corp. It said the 60-month contract specifically is for civil work and steel hydraulic structure of the project on Mambila Plateau in northeastern Nigeria.
Last year Obasanjo requested permission from Nigeria's Senate to accept a US$2.5 billion soft loan from China that would be used to invest in Mambila, as well as railways and the rural telephone network. (HNN 8/30/06) Obasanjo had said US$1 billion of the financing facility would go towards building the first phase of the hydroelectric plant.
Originally proposed in the 1980s, Mambila has been proposed for a capacity of up to 3,900 MW.