By Tony Ademiluyi
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Thursday announced that it had concluded arrangements with the United States Trade and Development Agency to sign a $1.16m grant as part funding for the NNPC-Abuja Independent Power Project.
It said the plant was modelled to generate 1,350 megawatts of electricity to alleviate the power challenge across the country.
This was disclosed at a business meeting between the management of the NNPC and the USTDA at the corporation’s headquarters in Abuja, where both parties agreed to close out the deal on December 1, 2019.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the plan by the corporation to build the 1,350MW power plant in Abuja was part of the national strategy to monetise the abundant natural gas resources across the country.
Kyari said the USDTA grant was to complement the ongoing feed project in order to make the Abuja IPP initiative more bankable for strategic investors’ participation.
He said, “As a state-owned oil company and enabler organisation, we know that our investment in the Abuja 1,350MW IPP will increase energy supply level with great impact on the nation’s economy.
“Therefore, the USTDA grant is timely to make it a bankable project that would attract foreign direct investment into the country.”
The GMD assured the US team that any money given as grant to the corporation would be fully utilised and accounted for.
“This company is focused on making our systems and processes transparent and accountable and that is why we are engaging world-class institutions with good track record in execution of our projects,” Kyari said.
He called on the USTDA to look beyond feasibility studies to actual delivery of the project, stressing that the power plant project had a lot of viable investment opportunities for all investors.
The Country Manager, Power Africa and the leader of the USTDA delegation, Jullian Foerster, said her organisation was determined to work with the corporation to sign off on the grant not later than December 1, 2019.
She said the USTDA was open to other business opportunities in the coming year.
Foerster noted that the NNPC’s strategic role as a key player in the oil and gas industry made the US agency to take the opportunity to work on the deal of providing support in the form of a grant.