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Power boost on horizon as dormant megawatts to join national grid



A glimmer of hope flickers for Nigeria’s electricity woes, as plans to inject 30 dormant megawatts (MW) from the Kashimbilla hydropower plant into the national grid come to light.

This announcement, made by Bolaji Tunji, Special Adviser on Communications to Power Minister Adebayo Adelabu, on Thursday, signifies a potential step towards improving the country’s erratic power supply.

The Kashimbilla hydropower plant, situated in Taraba State, has unfortunately remained underutilized for years, despite its promising capacity. This dormant potential has long frustrated Nigerians grappling with frequent power outages and crippling electricity shortages.

In May 2023, former president Muhammadu Buhari, inaugurated the Kashimbila multipurpose dam, 40 MW hydropower station and associated 132 kilovolts (KV) switchyard, transmission line and distribution substation (phase one), all in Taraba State.

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According to Tunji, the minister spoke during an inspection tour of the power plant in Taraba State and the 56 kilometre (km) and the 132 KV transmission line from Yandev to Makurdi in Benue State.

The minister’s statement suggests a renewed commitment to harnessing the plant’s capabilities and boosting the national grid.

Adelabu said the Kashimbilla power plant with its state-of-the-art technology which includes an automated tracking and monitoring system and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) was working effectively.

He said once the evacuation infrastructure was completed, the four turbines would evacuate the 40 megawatts, effectively.

”This inspection visit is to ensure accelerated completion of the facilities in order to ensure that the remaining 30MW is evacuated,” the minister said.

“We have begun the process and we have the assurance of the contractors that this will be completed within the next six months to one year.”

The mere acknowledgement of the issue and the intent to address it offer a welcome change from previous delays and inaction.

Moreover, considering the significant impact an additional 30 MW could have on alleviating power shortages in the region, any progress on activating the Kashimbilla plant deserves attention.

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