The high profile visit which took place at the weekend is preparatory to the take off of the project. The visit was undertaken in company of officials from the Federal Ministry Power, Works and Housing and heavy security.
The main project, including the huge turbines, is to be constructed at Baruf where River Dongo cascaded from 1671metres above sea level into the basin below.
The disagreement between two Chinese companies that caused setbacks previously, has been resolved.
It was also learnt that the scope of work at the site has finally been presented by the Chinese contractors to the federal government.
A consultant and former staff of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration got a new French consultant who expanded the project’s scope to 3050mw and re-valued the cost at $3.2bn (about N636.9bn) in 2011.
The power sector expert attributed the delay in flagging off the project since 2011 to the inclusion of Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese firm that was not part of the original bid winners – CGC/CGGC in 2005.
He said, “The Obasanjo government signed the contract with the Chinese firm in 2007 and if it was followed by now, we would have added 2600mw additional hydropower to the grid.”
According to Fashola, “The first thing to do is to acquire the land and deal with compensation issues, which the Governor has promised to deal with.
Among the 27 active power generating plants in Nigeria, only three including Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro Generation companies (Gencos) are hydro based electricity source.
The other 24 plants are at the mercy of present vandals activities cutting short gas supply to them.
The country’s power grid had dipped to less than 2,000mw in this year and had barely risen to 4,133mw in mid-August when series of vandalism of gas pipelines crashed it to about 3,500mw yesterday, statistics from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) revealed.
Top most of the hydropower projects are the ongoing 700mw Zungeru project in Niger state, 40mw Gurara project in Kaduna state, 40mw Kashimbilla project and the mega 3050mw Mambilla project, both in Taraba state.