Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Dam phase two development receives $3.5 million boost

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 January 2019:

Joule Africa Limited, the company responsible for developing Sierra Leone’s Bumbuna hydroelectricity phase two development has received $3.5 million from the European Union’s Electrification Financing Initiative (Electrifi), towards the cost of carrying out work that could see a massive increase in power output from the plant.

This investment represents 50% of the development costs required to bring the pre-construction work of the project to a close by December 2019.

The 143 Megawatts (MW) facility will accelerate Sierra Leone’s economic growth and reduce the Dam’s ecological footprint. Currently, about 80% of households lack access to electricity in the country.

“We are delighted to have received ElectriFI’s support at this critical stage of the Dam’s development. Our team is now focused on completing the remaining activities so that construction of this important project can begin,” said Andrew Cavaghan, founder and executive chairman of Joule Africa Limited, the company responsible for developing the project.

According to Joule Africa Ltd., Bumbuna Phase Two construction work will be carried out over a period of four years.

Located on the Seli River in Bumbuna, a town 200 kilometres northeast of the capital Freetown, the hydroelectricity plant will have a capacity of 143MW – a huge increase from the current 85MW produced by the Dam.

By signing the funding agreement on 16 January 2019 in Freetown, Dominiek Deconinck, ElectriFI fund manager, said that Bumbuna Phase Two is essential for the Sierra Leone government. It will stimulate the energy sector and support the government’s economic growth strategy.

The energy produced will indirectly encourage investment in transmission and distribution networks.

Aware of these advantages, the government made a commitment in August 2017 to purchase the energy produced by the plant for 25 years.

The realisation of the Bumbuna II hydroelectric project is also guaranteed by a feasibility study carried out in 2017. It was this study that recommended that the Sierra Leone authorities reduce the expected capacity of the project from 365 MW to 143 MW, so as to reduce environmental and social impact of the Dam.

Source Credit: Amin Kef    

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