Nigeria’s National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASRENI) has started the construction work of the first solar-cell production factory in West Africa. The factory is a part of the Nigerian government’s efforts towards transforming the power sector as well as boosting the local economy.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently laid the foundation stone for the establishment of the factory at Gora, Nasarawa state. According to Osinbajo, the landmark achievement of NASENI would place Nigeria within the list of countries pushing their limits in the use of climate-smart renewable energy sources, particularly solar.
The production and research facility of NASENI is being developed in collaboration with the commercial organization China Great Wall Incorporated Corporation (CGWIC). The factory development cost is estimated at around $171 million, with 85% of the funding being provided by the China Africa Development fund through the Bank of China and the rest by Nigeria.
Mohammed Haruna, Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, said that the ground-breaking solar cell manufacturing plant was a reality on account of the commitment from the Federal government and would be a game-changer in green energy manufacturing and solutions.
The Vice President pointed out that the solar cell factory came at a crucial time when the country is putting diligent efforts into adopting innovations in renewable energy. The output of the facility, at its full operational capacity, will further impact the solar energy value chain in this West African nation through the low production costs of solar panels.
Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan which was approved by the Federal Executive Council last year sets out the pathway of achieving universal energy access by the year 2030 and decarbonization by 2060. The plan estimates an increase in the use of solar power in the country’s energy mix, surpassing even natural gas by 2035.