S/Korea urges Nigeria to embrace its $12.4m Mini-Grids nuclear energy option

Oredola Adeola

The Nigerian government has been advised to embrace the South Korea’s nuclear energy option to close deficits gap in its electricity generation and supply.

The offer was made by the South Korean government as part of efforts to help address the country’s energy poverty.

Kim Young Chae, Ambassador of South Korea to Nigeria, made this known in an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Power, chaired by Senator Gabriel Suswam, to clarify certain issues, regarding the $12.4 million stand-alone mini-grid electricity project to be funded by the Korean government and gifted to Nigeria.

According to him, South Korea’s doors are open if Nigeria ever wants to look in the direction of utilizing nuclear energy, to solve its electricity challenge.
He said, “The nuclear energy options currently utilized in the United Arab Emirate, UAE, is based on the South Korean model and powered by South Korean companies.

EnergyDay gathered that the mini-solar grid project valued at $12.4 million (approximately N7billion), is expected to begin with the project designing on April 2022 and extends to December 2024. The Korean government promised to deliver the project in cooperation with the relevant government agency/agencies of Nigeria and local businesses.

Presenting the details, the South Korean Ambassador, confirmed that the project is a grant from his country to Nigeria and not a loan.

He also confirmed that all the 4 mini-grids will be sited in Abuja with the works and maintenance of the project handled by South Korean contractors.

The Senate Committee, while commending the Korean gift to Nigeria, expressed reservation in the decision of the Korean government to have all the mini-grids sited in Abuja.

The Committee urged the Korean government to consider a wider spread that will leave Abuja with only 1 mini-grid, and at least two mini-grids in each of
the six geopolitical zones.

Senator Suswam noted further that the $12.4m being proposed for 4 mini-grids in Abuja will be enough to build 12 mini-grids, even though with smaller capacity, but with greater desired impact across the country.

In his presentation, the Managing Director/CEO, Rural Electrification Agency, (REA), Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, raised concerns about the sustainability of the project, as well as the possibilities of having Nigerian companies work on the project.

South Korean Ambassador in his response to the demand by the Senate committee and REA, promised to escalate the requests to his government in Seoul.