Genesis Energy Corporation and Norwegian group, SHP Malthe Winje (SHP), specialists in the manufacture and supply of prefabricated and standardised mini hydro plants, launched a platform to fast track the deployment of Modular Mini Hydro Power solutions for the African market.
SHP are currently in the process of approaching the Norwegian Export Credit Agency for financing the deployment of the units which accounts for 85% of the total project costs. This funding will facilitate a low competitive tariff due to the long period of amortization of the fund and this would ensure the Nigerian government counterpart funding of 15% by Federal or State agencies is easily affordable, claimed Genesis in a company statement.
Quick deployment and job creation
Genesis CEO Akinwole Omoboriowo II, stated that investment in the Mini Hydro solution, which can be deployed within six months, would ensure job creation where locals would be trained to maintain the plant and service and operate the mini grids where it is utilised.
He further explained that prepaid metering vouchers would be sold to users stressing that it would also ensure increase in agricultural production in areas it is deployed.
Omoboriowo said: “The low tariff coming from the low cost of the power solution will assist farmers in the process of more of their produce, and more agro-allied processing industries would be set up, thereby shifting the current subsistence farming style predominant in most parts of the country [Nigeria].”
Negligible environmental impact
Omoboriowo explained: “The modular units can be connected to mini grids at 415V levels for direct consumption by targeted communities and/or connected to the distribution network within the area of the modular hydro unit installation.”
He added: “The units also have advantages of increased generated kilo watt per hour and in addition have zero negative environmental impact, given the pass-through water from streams or rivers used to feed the modular hydro units.”
Run-of-river schemes justify implementation
Marc Eeckhout, Executive Director of Genesis, who led the Genesis team to the signing ceremony of the Strategic Partnership contract at the SHP headquarters in Norway, said: “The mini hydro plants can be set up in virtually all parts of Nigeria where qualifying streams and or rivers exist.”
However, Eeckhout stressed that: “Their sustainability for stand-alone utilization in several States, local governments and in the rural parts of Nigeria can be justified as many viable mini hydro scale plants are actually run-of-river’ schemes based on water wheels that require a significantly small amount of civil works.”
According to Eeckhout, several rivers, water falls, qualifying streams in Nigeria such as Kaduna, Niger, Benue, Cross rivers and their tributaries provide a potential for the exploitation of hydro energy.