Nigeria and China are collaborating for the production of Nigerian-made transformers to address the issue of the poor power supply in Nigeria.
The information was disclosed by Engr. Mohammed Haruna, Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in Abuja on Thursday.
Haruna said that the joint effort was to put an end to the epileptic power supply in the country, adding that the Chinese government would aid in setting up a factory in Nigeria that will produce transformers which will begin in 2020.
The partnership will involve over $307. 5 million, which will be used to execute three main projects to meet the power needs in the country. 60 Nigerian engineers and technicians are presently undergoing training in China to get the knowledge required for transformer technology, production, installation, and maintenance.
Let me first of all express gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, our Chairman, and his government for supporting us, and for giving us the go-ahead to explore means that the country can profit from in its power predicament.
We are also grateful for the belief of government that for sustainable power supply in the country, the nation should be producing some components and pieces of equipment, as well as some machines needed in the power sector.
When we started in 2010, we went to China as a result of the open door and collaborative policy of the Chinese government, which introduced the Chinese African Development Fund (CADFund).
We started applying and followed the process for the approval under the former government of President Goodluck Jonathan who signed the agreement. It was ratified, signed, and approved for continuation by the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The agreement is to ensure that Nigeria can produce world-class power distribution transformers. From its design to the material selection and production, to its installation, commission, and maintenance.
As a result of that collaboration, we currently have 60 qualified engineers and technicians in China training to specialize in all the aspects of this production at the China Great Wall Industry Corporation.
The second component of this collaboration is high voltage technology because currently in Nigeria, it is only at the University of Lagos that has high voltage technology center for testing equipment in the power sector.
The final component is, we are manufacturing solar modules in Karshi, but we import certain raw materials. The most important raw material – the solar cells – are not produced in Nigeria.
The Chinese are providing this support 85 percent (or 261.4 million dollars) of the funds required for the three projects is being provided by the Chinese government through the CADFund.
These are what the collaboration is all about and it is very good for Nigeria because it will help us produce substantial components of local content in the power sector
The project has already started. The training is according to the work plan because our system is such that the 60 trainees would be the ones to participate in the installation of the facilities in Nigeria.
They started training in September and the training is for various durations. While some people’s training would be for six months, some engineers would be trained for four months and some others for three months
We do not want the Chinese to come and do the installation for us; our engineers would be trained adequately to come and do the installation for ease of sustainability and maintenance.
We hope that if things go as scheduled, depending of course on availability of funds from our end, by February, March next year, machines would have started arriving. We would not start producing by February/March because the factory itself will take two to three years to set up.Mohammed Haruna – pmnewsnigeria.com