Nigeria Sees Strong Investor Interest in 10 Power Plants

At least 30 investors have indicated interest in 10 Nigerian power plants put up for sale by the government, an official in charge of the process said.

Africa’s most populous country is offering as much as 80 percent of its shares in thermal power plants located across the country, James Olotu, chief executive officer of Niger Delta Power Holding Co. of Nigeria, which owns the facilities, said today in a phone interview from Abuja, the capital. “We have organizations showing interest from all parts of the world,” he said without giving further details.

Jointly owned by the federal, state and local governments, the power companies were set up from 2004 as a special intervention to boost gas-fueled electricity output. With combined installed capacity at more than 5,000 megawatts, they include the 850-megawatt Alaoji Generation Co. near the southeastern city of Aba, the 754-megawatt Olorunsogo Generation Co. in the southwest and the 634-megawatt Calabar Generation Co. on the southeastern coast.

Nigeria sold as much as 60 percent stakes in 10 electricity distributors and five power generators that were part of the former state monopoly on Feb. 22 under a plan to increase output with private investment. Blackouts are a daily occurrence in Africa’s top oil producer where electricity demand is almost double the supply of about 5,000 megawatts. Buyers included Siemens AG, Korea Electric Power Corp. and Transnational Corp. of Nigeria Plc, the West African nation’s privatization agency said.

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