Joule Africa, Sierra Leone sign 25-year PPA for 143-MW Bumbuna II expansion

Joule Africa and the government of Sierra Leone have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for electricity from a 143-MW expansion of the 50-MW Bumbuna station.

This expansion, called Bumbuna II, will be located on the Upper Seli River in the northeast part of the country. It will be built by Joule Africa and Energy Services Company (ESCO) through joint ownership of the newly formed Seli Hydropower. Seli Hydropower will also own and operate Bumbuna II.

Previous reports indicated the expansion would have a capacity of 202 MW. Construction of Bumbuna II is expected to start by mid-2018, with operations to begin four years later, Joule Africa says.

“This is a critical project for Sierra Leone and represents an important step in helping to resolve our country’s power deficit,” said Ambassador Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, Sierra Leone. “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.”

Bumbuna was commissioned in 2009.

The President of Sierra Leone said the government is prioritizing power generation as part of its commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The country wants to increase households with access to electricity to 30% by the end of 2030, from 13.5% at the end of 2015.

Joule Africa develops sustainable power projects across Africa and also is developing the 485-MW Kpep hydro project in Cameroon. ESCO was formed in 2014 with the support of Joule Africa.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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