Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 April 2018:
The Masada Waste Transformers, a joint venture comprised of The Waste Transformers from the Netherlands and Masada Waste Management in Sierra Leone, have won the West African Forum for Climate & Clean Energy Financing (WAFCCEF-3) awards, organised by the Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN).
The event was hosted at the African Development Bank Headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on 12 April 2018.
The Masada Waste Transformers business plan was recognised as the best in the competition, after pitching for an investment of $25 million which will be used to roll-out a network of decentralized waste to value installations across Freetown – the capital of Sierra Leone.
More than 100 contestants from across the world, entered the competition and went through a process of fine tuning their business plans. The 10 selected finalists were invited to pitch for a mix of over 200 investors and judged by a professional panel of judges, comprised of representatives from the African Development Bank, Private Equity and Institutional Finance.
Aminata Dumbuya, a partner in Masada Waste Management, said: “Together with The Waste Transformers, we have gone on a long journey in order to bring us this far. Sierra Leone has experienced a rapid increase in energy demand in recent years while simultaneously grappling with problems that swing from Ebola to growing waste volumes and increased need for an intelligent (re)application of our natural resources. The socially inclusive, innovative approach we have developed provides effective solutions to both challenges”.
By working together, partners of the Masada Waste Transformers will provide a high-impact approach to resource recovery and energy production, that could power Sierra Leone’s sustainable economic growth, in a way that is clean, green, entrepreneurial and smart.
Lara van Druten, Managing Director of The Waste Transformers, said: “This Joint Venture demonstrates how companies can cooperate in a mutually inclusive way that generates energy for positive economic and social change. We are excited at the opportunity to transform an unused resource – waste – into new energy for Sierra Leone. And, we are truly delighted that this distinguished and experienced panel, has expressed such enormous confidence in our team and our business plan.”
This year’s competition attracted over 150 contestants from all over West Africa and 20 were admitted into the semi-finals in Lagos, Nigeria, and were assigned coaches in June 2017, to sharpen their business plans and submit to the final round.
“The competition was well attended and witnessed by a mix of over 200 investors from both private equity and debt funds and judged by a professional panel of judges composed of representatives from the African Development Bank, Private Equity and Institutional Finance Personalities to listen to and judge the 10 finalists that emerged from the 150 contestants across West Africa.
“This is unprecedented, as out of this year’s 10 finalists, the top 3 diverse renewable energy projects – Waste to Energy, Solar PV and Hydro, from Sierra Leone, won the competition.
“The competition was tight and against projects from Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Ghana, and Sierra Leone clenched the winning prize. This is a great testament to all the hard work that we have done as a country to integrate our energy mix and taking on an energy revolution,” Aminata Dumbuya told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
The Sierra Leone energy revolution has made big waves, as three of its renewable energy projects emerged as winners of the WAFCCEF competition.
So, what will the winners of the WAFCCEF competition be doing to help address and manage the perennial energy and waste problems in Sierra Leone?
The Masada Waste Transformers Joint Venture will be transforming waste products into socially inclusive growth. They will unlock the potential of biomass in Sierra Leone, thereby producing 6 megawatts off and on grid waste to energy electricity.
The Solar Era Holdings is a 25MW Solar PV project will cover Bo and Kenema. It will be developed by the Africa Growth and Energy Solutions (AGES) UK PLC.
Sewa Energy Resources (SL) Ltd – The Betmai is a 27 MW “run off the river” hydroelectric project, located on the Pampana River in Tonkolili, covering the rural and national grid.
The winners will now receive ongoing project finance structuring, consultancy from PFAN, senior advisors and financial assistance towards studies to ensure bankability and access to project financing from PFAN and AFDB network.
All three winners from Sierra Leone are members of the Renewable Energy Association of Sierra Leone (REASL).