FREETOWN – The Development Bank of Southern Africa has committed US$4.9 million to finance remaining project development activities of the Bumbuna II 143 MW hydropower project in Sierra Leone, which have entered the final stages.
“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,” said Mohale Rakgate, DBSA’s Group Executive for Project Preparation.
“It will double the national electricity generation capacity and go a long way to ensuring that the Government of Sierra Leone achieves its objective of ensuring that at least 30% of the population has access to electricity by 2030.”
Rakgate said the bank was impressed by the professional manner in which projector developer Joule Africa and its local company, Seli Hydropower, were project-managing the numerous work streams involved in developing this hydro-power project, which is expected to 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,” said the DBSA executive.
“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, Executive Chairman of Joule Africa Limited, said the support from DBSA would go a long way.
“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,” said Cavaghan.