July 22, 2019 / 1:14 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Nigeria agrees plan with Siemens to nearly triple power supply by 2023

(Adds details, quotes)

By Felix Onuah

ABUJA, July 22 (Reuters) - Nigeria and German company Siemens have agreed a roadmap to nearly triple the country’s “reliable” power supply by 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.

Nigeria’s ailing power infrastructure, which forces businesses and households to run costly fuel generators, is often blamed for hobbling growth in Africa’s largest economy.

The dilapidated government-owned grid, operated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, would collapse if all the country’s power generators operated at full tilt.

Buhari, who held talks with Siemens CEO and president Joe Kaeser in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, said that currently only an average of 4,000 megawatts reliably reaches consumers despite there being over 13,000 megawatts of power generation capacity.

“My challenge to Siemens, our partner investors in the Distribution Companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Electricity Regulator, is to work hard to achieve 7,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 11,000 megawatts by 2023,” said Buhari.

Buhari, who said the ultimate goal was to drive generation capacity and overall grid capacity to 25,000 megawatts, did not disclose the monetary value of Siemens’ involvement in the plan.

In December, Reuters reported that plans to build another privately-financed power station were delayed because of concerns about persistent shortfalls in payments for electricity across the sector. (Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

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