Bumbuna II hydroelectric power project - news update
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Seli Hydropower 1st Edition Newsletter
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DBSA Commits US$4.9m of development funding to Bumbuna II
As Seli Hydropower enters the final stages in developing the Bumbuna II 143 MW hydropower project in Sierra Leone, along with the project sponsor, Joule Africa, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), one of Africa’s leading development finance institutions, has committed US$4.9 million to finance remaining project development activities.
Mohale Rakgate, DBSA’s Group Executive for Project Preparation, commented:
“Bumbuna II is a critical energy infrastructure project for Sierra Leone which will help to reduce the country’s dependence on fossils fuels and emergency power by providing affordable baseload power for Sierra Leone.
We are impressed by the professional manner in which Seli Hydropower and Joule Africa are project managing the numerous workstreams involved in developing this hydropower project which will provide much needed, guaranteed, all year-round electricity to the citizens of Sierra Leone.
By providing development capital to the Bumbuna II project at this important time, as well as being a prospective senior lender to the project, we are helping to facilitate the bankability and ultimate success of this project. The development of the energy sector is critical to the socio-economic growth of Sierra Leone and is a key element for future planning in a country at the crossroads of major industrial investments.”
Andrew Cavaghan, Director of Seli Hydropower, added:
“We are pleased to have the support and endorsement of DBSA as we progress the project towards financial close. DBSA’s funding and ongoing support comes at a critical time when our team is focused on completing the remaining activities so that the construction of this landmark project can get underway.”
Seli Hydropower conducts Bumbuna II public consultation
Local project management company Seli Hydropower, along with the Government of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Energy and Sierra Leone’s Environment Protection Agency (SL-EPA), have consulted formally with affected communities and interested stakeholders on the environmental and social aspects of the Bumbuna II project. The public meetings took place between 23 - 30 January 2018 in five locations: Kamathor, Magburaka, Kondembaia and Kabala, near the project in north east Sierra Leone, and in Freetown.
The Seli Hydropower team presented to over 1000 people during these sessions and listened to and responded to their comments and concerns. Statements, questions, and answers were recorded and added to the Bumbuna II Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) which was then resubmitted to SL-EPA.
Commenting on this, Herb Gammons, Seli Hydropower’s General Manager, said:
“We have been and will continue to consult with affected communities and interested stakeholders on an ongoing basis as regards our resettlement, community development and environmental plans. Our team is now focused on working with the communities to ensure that we secure the best possible solution in terms of the first phase of the resettlement action plan.”
The Public Consultation is an important step in enabling Seli Hydropower to secure the relevant Environmental License for the Bumbuna II project.
Parliament of Sierra Leone ratifies key Bumbuna II project documents
On 29 November, the Parliament of Sierra Leone voted unanimously to ratify the Bumbuna II Project Power Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement – a clear sign of the strong cross-party support for this project.
Following on from the Government of Sierra Leone’s signing of the agreements in August 2017, Parliamentary ratification marks another important milestone in the development of the Bumbuna II hydropower project which, when completed, will provide much-needed all-year round power to Sierra Leone.
Under the conditions of the agreement, local project company Seli Hydropower, sponsored by Joule Africa, will build an extension to the existing 50 MW hydro station, Bumbuna I, and construct a new regulation dam 30km upstream, adding a further 143 MW of power capacity. Seli Hydropower, will be responsible for building, owning and operating Bumbuna II, while the ownership of the Bumbuna I assets shall continue to remain with the Government of Sierra Leone.
Commenting on the achievement of this important milestone, Seli Hydropower, said:
"We would like to thank His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government and the people of Sierra Leone for their ongoing support and maintaining their commitment to the Bumbuna II project. I am delighted that we received unanimous approval for ratification in Parliament– a clear indication of the strong cross-party support for this project.
The development of Bumbuna II has always been a key part of the country’s long-term energy strategy and we look forward to being able to deliver affordable, all-year round power for the consumers of Sierra Leone.”
Andrew Cavaghan, Joule Africa’s Chairman, and a Director of Seli Hydropower, added:
“I am pleased that we have reached another important milestone in the development of the Bumbuna II project. We are making good progress on all fronts and will look to build on this momentum in the coming weeks and months as we conclude the financing of the project.”
Seli Hydropower a part of historic 25-Year power deal with government of Sierra Leone
In a clear sign that the Government of Sierra Leone is taking steps to get the country back on its feet following the Ebola crisis, it signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Seli Hydropower and their sponsor, Joule Africa, to provide much-needed, all-year round power to the country.
Under the conditions of the agreement, Seli Hydropower, will build an extension to the existing 50 MW hydro station, Bumbuna I, situated in the north east of the country, adding a further 143 MW of power capacity. Seli Hydropower, will be responsible for building, owning and operating Bumbuna II.
At the time of signing, Paul Kunert, director of Seli Hydropower said:
"We are pleased to have reached this important milestone and thank the Government of Sierra Leone for their continued support. The development of Bumbuna II has always been a key part of the country’s energy strategy and we look forward to being able to deliver a value-for-money solution for Sierra Leone’s electricity distribution and supply authority, EDSA, and affordable, all-year round power for the consumers of Sierra Leone.”
Andrew Cavaghan, Director of Seli Hydropower, added:
“I am delighted that we have reached this significant milestone in the development of this most important of national and regional energy projects. Joule Africa has been operating in Sierra Leone since 2010 and has built up some very strong relationships in-country during that time. We have also in place our Seli Hydropower team who are very capable of delivering and operating this hydro project, safely and reliably.”
Ambassador Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, commented:
“This is a critical project for Sierra Leone and represents an important step in helping to resolve our country’s power deficit. When operational, Bumbuna II will make the most of harnessing and managing Sierra Leone’s heavy, seasonal rainfall and will provide clean, reliable energy for generations to come.”
Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momodu Kargbo, commented:
“The addition of Bumbuna II to the existing Bumbuna I facility will act as an important catalyst in helping businesses and industries to grow and households to enjoy a better standard of living.”
His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, concluded:
“The Government of Sierra Leone is prioritizing power generation and seeks to increase accessibility of the population to electricity as part of its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of this, Sierra Leone has set itself a target of increasing the proportion of households with access to electricity, via the national grid, from 13.5% at the end of 2015 to 30% by the end 2030.
The successful construction and operation of both Phase I and II of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Power Project form a critical part of the Government of Sierra Leone’s long-term energy strategy.”