Nigerian President Bola Tinubu speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a gas-fired power plant project undertaken by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation in Abuja, Nigeria, Aug. 4, 2023. (Nigeria State House/Handout via Xinhua)
ABUJA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Friday performed the groundbreaking ceremony here for the construction of a gas-fired power plant project undertaken by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tinubu described the Gwagwalada Independent Power Project (GIPP) as "highly significant" to the most populous African country as well as the first bold step in the government's concerted efforts to establish a strong energy sector that will drive the country's economy.
"Nigeria cannot become a productive and industrialized economy, we cannot tackle poverty or create thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs unless we can generate, transmit and distribute reliable electricity," said Tinubu.
Mele Kyari, CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, said that the national oil company would leverage the nation's gas resources, over 200 trillion cubic feet (about 5.66 trillion cubic meters) of proven reserves, to power industrial growth and stimulate job creation, and that through the project, there would be a huge boost to the national grid.
Cui Jianchun, the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, told Xinhua that the plant will play a significant role in helping Nigeria fill the power supply gap. After completion, the project is expected to a large extent to meet the power demand of the capital city and surrounding areas.
There is big room for cooperation between China and Nigeria in the field of energy and China will work with Nigeria to set a model for energy and industrial cooperation in Africa, said Cui.
The GIPP, a combined cycle power plant with auxiliaries, is to be implemented in phases, with the first phase of 350 MW to be completed in three years after the groundbreaking. ■
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu (C, front) attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a gas-fired power plant project undertaken by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation in Abuja, Nigeria, Aug. 4, 2023. (Nigeria State House/Handout via Xinhua)