Nigeria opens talks with Russian firm to build N3.98 trillion nuclear power plants

The Federal Government is currently in discussion with Rosatom Corporation of Russia towards the construction of four new nuclear power plants in the country.

Estimates showed the power plants, when completed, would be the biggest in Africa and would cost the Nigerian government about $20 billion (about N3.98 trillion).

Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Franklin Osaisai, said in Kenya on Monday that a joint coordination committee was already negotiating for financing and contracting for the project.

“We are meticulously implementing our plans,”Mr. Osaisai told Bloomberg News on the side-lines of a power conference in Kenya’s Kwale coastal region.

Mr. Osaisai said Nigeria signed an agreement with Rosatom in 2012 to undertake the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of the first phase of the plant, expected to become operational in 2025.

An expansion of the facility to accommodate another three nuclear plants would raise its power generation capacity to about 4,800 megawatts by 2035.

Rosatom spokesperson, Sergei Novikov, who spoke with Bloomberg from Istanbul, said the company’s officials met in February with their Nigerian counterparts to discuss areas of cooperation within the framework of a 2009 intergovernmental agreement on power development in Africa.

Though Mr. Novikov said no formal agreements have been signed yet with respect to the construction of the nuclear plants in Nigeria, he said preliminary discussions have shown that Rosatom would hold a controlling stake in the project.

“The government (Nigerian) will enter a power-purchasing agreement for the nuclear plant,” Mr. Novikov said, adding that construction of the plants would be financed by Rosatom on a build, own, operate and transfer terms.

(Bloomberg)

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