DBSA commits US$4.9 million to 143-MW Bumbuna II hydropower in Sierra Leone

The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has committed US$4.9 million to finance remaining project development activities for the 143-MW Bumbuna II hydropower project, entering the final stages of development in Sierra Leone.

Bumbuna II, being developed by Joule Africa through local company Seli Hydropower, is a key part of the government of Sierra Leone’s long-term Energy Plan. Bumbuna II will be located on the Upper Seli River in northeast Sierra Leone. The project involves building an extension to the existing 50-MW Bumbuna I facility. When complete, Bumbuna II will provide Sierra Leone with a minimum of 80 MW of reliable, all-year-round affordable electricity.

Bumbuna II will also feed into the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea extension to the West African Power Pool transmission line.

“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.

“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.”

Joule Africa is a developer owner-operator of sustainable power projects across Africa. In addition to Bumbuna II, Joule Africa is developing Kpep, a 285-MW hydro project in Cameroon.

DBSA is a South African state-owned enterprise and a leading development finance institution working across the African continent. Established in 1983, its primary purpose is to promote economic and social development as well as regional integration through infrastructure investment and development.

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