Plans to build another privately-financed power station in Nigeria to help end decades of chronic blackouts have been delayed because of concerns about persistent shortfalls in payments for electricity across the sector.
The $1.1 billion Qua Iboe Power Plant being developed by energy infrastructure company Black Rhino and the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation won’t get a green light by the end of 2018 as planned and it was unclear when the deal might close, NNPC told Reuters.
The delay is a setback for Africa’s biggest oil producer where 80 million people don’t have access to grid power supplies and it exposes the difficulties in attracting private investment to a sector that successive governments have tried to reform.
The uncertainty surrounding the 540-megawatt Qua Iboe plant stems from the difficulties Nigeria’s first privately-financed independent power project – the 460-megawatt Azura-Edo plant – has encountered since it came online this year.
NNPC told Reuters one of the reasons the Qua Iboe plant (QIPP), which is due to be built in the southern state of Akwa Ibom, had been delayed was because Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading company (NBET) appeared reluctant to commit to new projects to avoid increasing its liabilities.