Abuja - The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that N163 billion ($1 billion) would be invested in the Azura–Edo Independent Power Project. The funds would be raised by 15 investors who had indicated interest in the project.
She made this known at meeting of the investors and the Federal Government in Abuja.
She disclosed that the power project was a Gren-Field undertaking which would be developed “from the scratch by investors as opposed to investing in existing facilities”.
“Today, we have a visit from a group of investors for the first Green-Field Independent Power project to be built from scratch in Nigeria.
“Since we liberalised the sector as you know, we did not only privatised all the power assets, but also opened up the sector and this is a big project and the investment is quite large.
“Through this project, the combination of two sources of lender security has simultaneously unlocked more than $700 million of the project-financed investment in a large scale IPP and more than $300 million worth of investments in gas.
“We have more than 15 investors represented here and all of them are the best of investors internationally,’’ she said.
According to the minister, this will be the first time groups of consortium will come together to fund a power project to the tune of $1billion.
She said that the lead sponsor of the project was Azura Power Holdings Limited (APHL), owned by Amaya Capital and American Capital Energy and Infrastructure.
She disclosed that the co-sponsors of the project include Edo State Government, Aldwych International, Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 and Asset and Resource Management.
Okonjo-Iweala, who is also the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, described the Azura-Edo IPP as “milestone project” and said that it was being supported with guarantees and insurance coverage by the World Bank and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.
In his contribution, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said that the development was significant considering the number of megawatts it would generate.
“This is very significant and huge project but the Aba Power Plant was the first IPP of this sort. This is the second but Aba is only delivering about a 140 Megawatts and this is planned for ultimately 1 500 megawatts.
“This is about 10 times that capacity but already, the initial take-off will be 450 megawatts which is about three times what Aba is giving us and that will be commissioned in few weeks,’’ he said.
He assured that the ministry of power would give every support to ensure that enabling environment was created for the Azura-Edo IPP to be achieved.
The Managing Director of Azura, Dr Dadid Ladipo, said that the project was a genuine example of public-private-partnership, adding that it had multiplicity of public partnerships.
"On the public side we have the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company, The Nigerian Gas Company and we have the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),’’ he said.
He commended the support of various public offices and the Federal Government in ensuring that the project would take off as expected.
The project will commence in May 2014 and will be completed in 30 months.
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