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Mambilla Hydropower Station Project funded by Chinese lenders, Nigeria

The four-dam hydro plant is the largest in the country and known as the African Three Gorges Dam. It will displace more than 100,000 people. International organizations fear increase in corruption


Mambilla Power Station is one of Africa's (and Nigeria's) biggest projected dam projects, which will be connected to three dams across the Donga River in Taraba State, Nigeria [3]. It was first conceived in 1972.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mambilla Hydropower Station Project funded by Chinese lenders, Nigeria
State or province:Taraba State
Location of conflict:across the Donga River in Taraba State
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The project which is expected to cost $5.79 billion would be funded by the Nigerian government and Chinese lenders through the China Exim Bank, on the ratio of 15 and 85 per cent respectively.The main Mambilla Dam (3,050MW installed) is a large rolled compact concrete dam and reservoir at 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) above sea level. From this dam water is diverted off the reservoir towards the western side of the plateau through 3 hydraulic tunnels totaling 33 kilometres (21 mi), intercepted by 2 smaller dams (Sum Sum Dam and Nghu Dam), both at an elevation of 1,250 metres (4,100 ft). Beyond these dams, the tunnels lead into a 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) drop shaft tunneled down through the rock to a massive underground powerhouse with a generating capacity of 3,050 megawatts (4,090,000 hp). [2] Via a short tunnel, the water then exits the base of the plateau and flows into a tributary river that rejoins the Donga River downstream of the plateau.

Level of Investment for the conflictive project5,792,000,000 [2]
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100,000 displaced
Company names or state enterprises:China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd. from China
Sinohydro Corporation Limited (Sinohydro) from China
China Energy Engineering Corp Ltd (Energy China, CEEC) from China
Relevant government actors:Central Government of Nigeria
Ministry of Power
International and Finance InstitutionsExport-Import Bank of China from China - China’s Export-Import Bank will provide 85 percent of the funding and Nigeria’s government will supply the remaining 15 percent for the joint venture
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:International Rivers
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Forms of mobilization:Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Sources & Materials

[1] Nigeria announces $5.8 billion deal for record-breaking power project

By Kieron Monks, CNN

September 15, 2017
[click to view]

[click to view]

[3] Wikipedia - Mambilla Power Station
[click to view]

[4] Sweet Crude reports - Nigeria admits failure to award Mambilla Hydro contract

December 26, 2013
[click to view]

[5] Hydroworld - Nigerian government approves contract to build 3,050-MW Mambilla hydropower plant

ABUJA, Nigeria

[click to view]

[6] International Rivers - Money for Nothing (Or How Corruption Fuels Dam Building in Nigeria)

Thu, 03/20/2008
[click to view]

Energy China - Contract for Mambilla Hydropower Station in Nigeria Signed

[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Announcement of Ministry of Power - Nigerian govt. approves construction cf $5.8bn Mambilla power project
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Daniela Del Bene, ENVJUSTICE project, ICTA-UAB
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3063
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