HomeEnergyNASENI Begins $325.8m Solar Cells Plant Project To Boost Power Supply

NASENI Begins $325.8m Solar Cells Plant Project To Boost Power Supply

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has revealed that the agency has embarked on a $325,860,690 Solar Cells Production Plant to make power cheaper and affordable.

This was made known by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the NASENI, Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna during the foundation laying for the NASENI Solar Cells Production Plant in Gora, Nasarawa State which was done by the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo.

According to him, the plant is a game changer in the nation’s energy sector. Although the agreement for the production plant was initially signed in July 2013, the intervention of Osinbajo made the project take off.

The NASENI boss said the agency’s goal was to use science, technology, innovation, and engineering to advance local content interventions in power sector reforms.
He said the commencement of the plant signaled the implementation of one of the three projects contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NASENI and the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC).

Haruna said: “The cost of solar energy is still beyond the affordability of an average Nigerian hence the necessity of this project. When fully commissioned, the price per watt of solar power supply will be cheap enough to be affordable to everyone and it is a game changer in the energy and power supply industry as well as the industrial development of Nigeria.

“This production and research plant consists of four main production sections on 15.8 hectares of land which are (a) Polysilicon section of 1,000 tons per annum; (b) Ingot of 50MW per annum;(c) Wafers of 50MW per annum; and (d) Solar cells of 50MW per annum

“It will cost a total of $171,970,000USD with 85% funding equivalent to $146,174,500USD support from China Africa Development (CAD) fund through the Bank of China and 15% local counterpart funding, an equivalent to $25,795,500USD from Nigeria.

Haruna commended President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the chairman of the NASENI Governing Board, for according to the agency a new status that has fast-tracked its innovations. He also thanked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for making the plant project a reality.

“This singular project has the capacity to positively change the energy status of Nigeria, the region, and the continent of Africa since it is the first of its type.

Speaking on the project launch, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo congratulated the government and NASENI on behalf of President Buhari, who is the Chairman of the governing board. He said, “Our intervention using different products of solar energy alternative and climate-smart solution, was carefully thought out with identified phases from ideation to commercialization.”

The VP said: “This landmark achievement places Nigeria within the ranks of countries pushing the boundaries in the use of climate-smart alternative energy sources, particularly solar power. And as we have heard, this particular project is built on 10 years of work. 10years ago, NASENI established its 7.5mw solar panel production plant. Its capacity is now 21MW.

“NASENI’s solar cell production factory in Nigeria will be a game-changer, given the urgency of climate action today and the importance of developing African green energy manufacturing and solutions.”

He added: “For over 10 years, NASENI has been consistent in championing solar power as an alternative to hydro and fossil power sourcing. And it was to this end that the agency established NASENI Solar Energy Limited (NSEL) in Karshi, Federal Capital Territory, with a mandate to deliver alternative solar energy to homes and businesses in Nigeria.

Pointing out that $50 billion worth of diesel fuel is used yearly, with diesel generators producing more energy than the entire energy grid in 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Osinbajo said, “the resultant emissions of carbon monoxide has since become a major and worrying source of pollution. In Nigeria, for example, generator emissions are equivalent to emissions from all of the country’s 11 million cars put together.”

“The Plan, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council last year “sets out our pathway to decarbonization by 2060 and achieving universal energy access by 2030.” He added.

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