The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded an unspecified grant to Nigerian multinational industrial conglomerate Dangote Industries Limited and African infrastructure investor BlackRhino, which is wholly owned by Blackstone, one of the largest alternative asset managers in the United States, to conduct the feasibility study for a 100 MW solar project in Kano State, northern Nigeria.
USDTA said the feasibility study, which will be conducted on a competitive basis, is aimed at assessing grid capacity and stability.
According to previous media reports, the two companies are planning to jointly invest up to $10 billion in renewable energy and grid infrastructure projects in the Kano State and across south east Nigeria. In Kano State, Dangote Industries and BlackRhino are also the planning the construction of a 1 GW coal power plant, as well as a gas pipeline project.
In the southern part of Nigeria, BlackRhino is also working on a gas-fired power plant, which the company calls one of the lowest-cost baseload power plants in the country, and an associated transmission line.
Dangote Industries has interests across a range of sectors in Africa including cement, sugar, flour, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate, with new projects in development in oil and natural gas, telecommunications, fertilizer and steel. The company currently has around 26,000 employees.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Power has recently signed two put/call option agreements with local solar developers Afrinegia Nigeria Limited and CT Cosmos Nigeria Limited, in order to make their respective PV projects move forward. The agreements were part of the finalization of the power purchase agreements which the Federal Government signed with 14 Solar Power developers in the summer of 2016. At the time, the state-owned company Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) signed power purchase agreements for as much as 975 MW of solar..
Nigeria aims to cover 30% of total energy capacity through renewables by 2030.