Nigeria moved closer to finishing a power plant expected to boost the country’s supply by almost 10 percent when it signed a financing agreement with the World Bank on Friday.
The Washington-based lender partially guaranteed $237 million of debt being used to build the Azura electricity plant in Benin City in the south, Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, a government-owned entity that buys power from generation companies and sells it to distributors, said in a statement. The privately owned facility will provide 450 megawatts of electricity when it starts in 2018, NBET said.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to office in May, has said that boosting Nigeria’s chronically unreliable power supply will be one of his economic priorities. Generation in Africa’s biggest economy peaks at 4,600 megawatts, the power ministry said this month.
The agreement “represents a major milestone in the evolution of the Nigerian electricity market and provides an exemplary illustration of the commitment shown by the Buhari administration to accelerating investment in the country’s power sector,” NBET said.
Investors and banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Standard Bank Group Ltd. are lending more than $900 million to the Azura project, according to NBET.