In the face of a significant deficit of reliable power and huge security challenges by Islamist militants in the far northeast, Russia has signed agreements with Nigeria to build and operate a nuclear power plant in the oil-rich West African nation.
Feasibility studies for the plant and a research center construction will include site screening, capacity building, financing, and setting timeframes for the projects, state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom stated in a press statement. Representatives from the firm and the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission signed the deal.
The two nations had in 2009 signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful usage of nuclear technologies. Nigeria in 2015 was in talks with Rosatom to build as many as four nuclear power plants costing about $20 billion, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission said at the time.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, distributes an average of 4,500 megawatts of electricity. Half the output of the Egbin power plant, the nation’s biggest, is lost because of inadequate transmission infrastructure.
Rosatom is seeking to build nuclear power plants in other countries on the continent including South Africa.