Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has his eyes set on reviving business activities in Nigeria’s ancient city of Kano with an investment of $150 million in a solar power plant to generate electricity that will power industries and ramp up production, it has emerged from different sources who provided information to Businessamlive for this story.
The industrialist is said to be appalled by the comatose state of economic activities in Kano, regarded as northern Nigeria’s biggest business city and sees the 100 megawatts power project as a necessary push for a revival of industrial production requiring a constant supply of electricity.
The project which is being executed by the Aliko Dangote controlled Dangote Group, involves the construction of a state-of-the-art renewable energy plant, that the group believes would halt business collapse and position the city of Kano as a vibrant economic hub that would begin to contribute to the development of the country. This followed the realisation that gross inadequacy in the supply of reliable and affordable electricity was one of the critical challenges facing the state`s economy.
Mansur Ahmed, Dangote’s group executive director, said this was why it persuaded its strategic global partner, The Black Rhino Group, to be part of the project with the support of the Kano State government, adding that the project is expected to be completed within two years.
The solar power plant will be in Zakirai in Gabasawa Local Government Area of the state.
Ahmed said the project, which will be affordable to all, was another milestone in the evolving partnership between Dangote Group and the Kano state government in the determined efforts to bring about the much-needed improvement in the economy of the state and the welfare of the people.
He said: “As we all know, Kano`s pre-eminent status as a great entry point and center of commerce in the sub–Saharan region for almost two centuries has sadly declined over the past three decades as a result of sustained contraction of the state`s once vibrant industrial and commercial activities.
“Arresting this decline and restoring the state`s economic vibrancy must, therefore, be the desire of every citizen of the state. Our group president, being an eminent son of the soil cannot but share this aspiration,” he noted.
“This project which will, on completion add 100MW to the state`s electricity supply, is therefore fully in line with our group`s strong commitment to contribute to the re-invigoration of the state’s economic potential and overall national development,” Mansur noted.
The solar power plant, when completed is expected to convert the abundant energy of the sun into quality clean electricity with no deleterious impact on the environment.
According to Pacific Gas and Electric, a leading utility company in the U. S, a megawatt can light up 360 homes, which means a 100-MW solar plant will generate enough electricity to power 36,000 homes.
Also, the usual benchmark for energy generated from 1 MW solar power plant is considered as 1.5 Million units with the 100 MW expected to generate 150 million units, although location matters in the calculation.
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The amount of actual energy generated from a solar power plant in a year depends on both internal and external factors. External factors which are beyond the control of a solar developer can include the following: number of sunny days, solar irradiation, day temperatures and air mass.
The output also depends on the following internal factors, all of which are within the control of a solar developer: plant location, usage of solar tracking systems, quality of equipment used, the workmanship of the EPC contractor and operations and management (O&M) activities.
Some of the manufacturing companies in Kano that might benefit from the solar power plant are Royal Foam Products (NIG) Limited, Uniform Group, Asada Plastic Limited, Galaxy Nigeria Limited , Eva Rubber & Plastic Products Nigeria Limited, Jaykay Carpet Industries Limited, Lakhi Textile Industries Limited , M.C Plastic (NIG) Limited, among others.