March 27 (Renewables Now) - Nigeria on Friday launched construction of what is described as the first solar cell production facility in West Africa.
The project, located in Gora in the state of Nasarawa in the north central region of Nigeria, is led by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). The foundation laying ceremony was conducted by the country’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo.
NASENI has a solar panel production plant in Karshi Abuja but it does not produce solar cells.
“Ten years ago, NASENI established its 7.5 MW solar panel production plant. Its capacity is now 21 MW,” Osinbajo said in a statement. He added that the key major raw materials for the production of solar cells -- silicon and silica -- are naturally occurring in abundance in Nasarawa.
Osinbajo also pointed out that Nigeria's Energy Transition Plan targets decarbonisation by 2060 and universal energy access by 2030.
Local media cited NASENI executive vice chairman and chief executive Mohammad Sani Haruna as saying that the project is part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between NASENI and the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) and would include production of polysilicon, as well as ingot, wafers and solar cells each of 50 MW per year.