General Electric is to launch a gas turbine assembly plant in Nigeria in 2018 as the company seeks to tap into a growing demand for gas-fired power plants in the African nation.

It amounts to a $100m investment plan and GE Nigeria CEO Lazarus Angbazo said the company wants to support the development of Nigeria’s gas reserve which is largely untapped. He added that the company has invested in some local power plants.Lazarus Angbazo of GE

Nigeria, which possesses the largest population on the African continent is attempting to overturn years of blackouts and privatised its electric power sector just four years ago.

Most of the plants it sold were gas-fired, operating below capacity due to inadequate gas supply.

OPEC member Nigeria has the world’s ninth largest proven gas reserves.

Angbazo said construction work on one gas-fired power plant located in the southeastern Nigerian city of Calabar is expected to be completed in December. Operations will start in the first quarter, the company told Reuters by email.