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The Federal Government has opened talks with the African Development Bank for financing of coal-to-power projects across the country.
Our correspondent learnt that the funding arrangement, which the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is midwifing, would be available to operators who were ready to set up coal power plants with capacity of at least 500 Megawatts.
The Special Assistant to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development on Media, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, confirmed the talks with the AfDB in a telephone interview with our correspondent.
The ministry had recently secured $150m from the World Bank for the development of the sector. However, the fund does not cover coal development, thus the decision of the government to open talks with the AfDB for alternative funding.
It was not clear as of press time how much assistance the Federal Government was seeking from the bank for the coal-to-power financing.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had during a tour of the Enugu coal mines indicated that the Federal Government planned to generate 30 per cent of the country’s electricity from coal power plants.
Fayemi said his ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Power to realise the target and gave an assurance that the country had enough coal deposits to realise the target.
“We have an existential need for power in this country and we have to do something about it, and we can get power from coal, which we have in abundance. We need people from the private sector who will set up plants that will use coal,” the minister had said.