Nigeria announces $5.8 billion deal for record-breaking power project

Story highlights

Mambila hydropower project will be the largest power plant in Nigeria

Project has been in development for over 30 years

100,000 people will be displaced

CNN  — 

The government of Nigeria has announced the award of a $5.8 billion contract to build what will be the largest power plant in the country.

The 3,050-megawatt Mambila hydroelectric power project in the state of Taraba will be delivered by a consortium of Chinese state-owned construction firms.

The megaproject will feature four dams between 50 and 150 meters tall, and take six years to complete, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told reporters in Abuja.

The Chinese Export-Import Bank will finance 85% of the development, with the Nigerian government contributing 15%.

Minister Fashola claimed the project will deliver far-reaching benefits.

“(Mambila) will have a transformational effect on all of Nigeria’s socio-economic development,” he said through a government spokesman, “It will have considerable positive impact on electricity supply nationwide, productivity, employment, tourism, technology transfer, rural development, irrigation, agriculture and food production.”

The Mambila Plateau in Taraba state. The project will cause considerable disruption and displacement, environmentalists warn.