The Nigerian government has taken a final investment decision on an $80bn, Russian-led programme of nuclear power plant construction, local media report.
Four plants will be built, operated and majority owned by Russia’s nuclear energy firm, Rosatom.
Each plant will cost $20bn, and their combined generating capacity by 2035 would be 4,800 megawatts, reports Nigerian digital news site, Today.
(The projects are) financed by Rosatom, which will then build, own, operate and transfer them to the government
The first plant will be sited in Kogi State, and is planned to be finished in 2025.
According to Today, a document produced by the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission and the Ministry of Power said that the decision was taken after the completion of an environmental impact assessment of the sites, and the completion of design for the plants.
The chief executive of Rosatom, according to the document, had signed a financing deal with the Nigerian government giving the Russian company a majority controlling stake in the plants, and a veto against Nigeria doing business with any other nuclear vendor, Today reported.
Nigeria would enter a power purchasing agreement with Rosatom and the plants, the document said, would be "financed by Rosatom, which will then build, own, operate and transfer them to the government."
Specific locations of the sites were not disclosed, but the plants, sited in pairs, would be in Akwa Ibom and Kogi states.
Planning for the cooperation with Russia began some years ago. Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission chairman Franklin Erepamo Osaisai, who first unveiled the talks between Rosatom and Nigeria in 2014, told Today that a joint coordination committee was in place and negotiations are ongoing for financing and contracting.
Nigeria, Osaisai said, signed an agreement with Rosatom to cooperate on the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of a facility in 2012.
Image: The photograph, for illustration purposes, shows the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, US (Peteburke73/Wikimedia Commons)