The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji says the ministry will cooperate with companies eager and ready to invest in the renewable energy sector, especially companies with capacity to Develop, Build, Own and Operate (DBO).
He stated this while welcoming representatives of Hecate Global Renewables of USA during a courtesy visit to him in Abuja.
The Minister told the investors that his style is more actions, less talk.
He informed the visitors that many investors have indicated interest in the renewable energy sector- solar, wind and hydro.
“However, it’s been more talks than actions,” he said, stressing that he is disposed to work with any company that initiates tangible actions.
He challenged Hecate Global Renewables to show seriousness by initiating actions to build.
He spoke of some abandoned solar power projects across the country and harped on the need to complete them.
The Minister said: “my catch from your investment proposal is the establishing of solar panel and battery manufacturing factories in the country, because we have deposits of Lithium across the country especially in Nassarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Ekiti and Cross River states.
“I will therefore collaborate with the Minister for Solid Minerals to ensure access to the lithium for battery manufacturing in the country.”
Earlier, the company representative, Ms. Catherine Jimmy Mfere (Head of Business Development, Sub-Saharan Africa) standing in for the CEO, David Wilhelm gave background of the company and its involvement in Africa.
She said HGR had established solar power plants in some countries in Africa, including Ghana- 60MW, Sierra Leone- 50MW, Gambia-50MW, Malawi- 40MW and Zambia-100MW.
“Nigeria is a huge market and we intend doing a lot, including building solar power plants, establishing sola panel and battery manufacturing factories, advancement/application of battery storage technologies, plus capacity building and workforce training.
“Our company’s strategy is the Public Private Partnership model of Develop, Build, Own and Operate. Our company has the capacity and able partners to execute these projects,” she said.
In his comment, the DG of Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), Dr. Abdullahi Mustapha said the ECN recognizes the need for renewable energy to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and contribute in the effort towards limiting global warming to 1.5 Degrees Celsius.
He said the country was targeting investment of about 4.4trillion Naira in renewable energy, especially solar.
He said Nigeria was keying into the advice of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for countries to increase dependence on renewable energy.
The climax of the visit was the signing of Memorandum of Intent between the Ministry and HGR.