NIAMEY Dec 18 Niger has secured $172 million
from the World Bank and others to finance a hydroelectric dam
and will resume construction soon, its President said, after
ending a contract with a Russian firm earlier this year.
The Kandadji hydroelectric project, located about 180
kilometres northwest of the capital Niamey along the Niger
River, is expected to produce around 130 MW of electricity.
Niger, a poor, landlocked country with uranium reserves, had
previously awarded the Kandadji project to Russia's
Zarubezhvodstroy OJSC but it broke off the contract
in July alleging the firm had not met its commitments.
Zarubezhvodstroy did not immediately respond to a request
for comment on Wednesday.
"A round table discussion...enabled us to address the
project and to raise 172 million dollars for the additional
costs following the termination of the contract," President
Mohamadou Issoufou said in a statement late on Tuesday.
"Work will begin soon," he added.
He did not say whether the project would reach its previous
target to be operational by 2017.
Planning minister Amadou Boubacar Cisse said the World Bank,
the Saudi Fund for Development, the French Development Agency
and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa were among
The government is in the process of choosing a new partner
for the project and it hopes to resume construction again in the
first quarter of 2014, a government official said.
(Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalaki; Writing by Emma Farge)