ElectriFI, the Electrification Financing Initiative, has committed US$3.5 million of development capital to finance 50% of the external development expenses needed to reach financial close of the 143-MW Bumbuna II hydropower project in Sierra Leone.
Bumbuna II is entering the final stages of development, according to Joule Africa, the project sponsor. Joule Africa signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with the government of Sierra Leone in August 2017 and selected a preferred EPC contractor in February 2018.
“Bumbuna II is crucial for the Government of Sierra Leone to stimulate its energy sector and support its economic growth strategy,” said Dominiek Deconinck, ElectriFI fund manager. “Bumbuna II will double the national generation capacity; indirectly encourage investments in transmission and distribution network; and allow the Government to show it is capable of managing large international infrastructure investments such as this.”
Bumbuna II is a key part of the government of Sierra Leone’s long-term Energy Plan.
The project will be located on the Upper Seli River in North East Sierra Leone and involves building an extension to the existing 50-MW Bumbuna I facility.
According to a press release, mandated lead arrangers for the debt finance will be selected by Joule Africa shortly and construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2019.
Joule Africa is a developer owner-operator of sustainable power projects across Africa and is developing Kpep, a 285-MW hydro project in Cameroon.
ElectriFI is an impact investment facility with a mandate to invest in on- and off-grid early-stage private companies and projects focusing on new/improved connections, as well as on generation capacity from renewable energy sources in emerging markets.