SEFA approves funding for Africa’s 20-MW Saltinho hydropower project

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa has awarded a US$965,000 grant to support the development of a 20 MW hydropower project in Saltinho.

The run-of-river plant is part of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Gambia River development plan, called Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Gambie (OMVG), and will be connected to neighboring countries along Africa’s Atlantic coast.

SEFA’s financing is part of a broader partnership that includes the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the ECOWAS Centre fore Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE).

The funding will be used to perform technical and feasibility studies with hopes of attracting further private investments.

“[The grant’s] support aims at attracting strong private partners and investors, and enables the project to reach bankability and have a high demonstration effect in Guinea-Bissaua and beyond as the first independent power producer or public-private partnership project, the first large renewable energy project, and the first project finance deal in a transition country with bank participation,” SEFA coordinator Joao Duarte Cunha said.

The project will nearly double Guinea-Bissau’s current generating capacity of about 26 MW — most of which is heavily reliant on imported diesel fuel. HydroWorld.com reported earlier this week that the west African company will also receive an injection of energy from the newly-completed 240-MW Kaleta hydropower project in neighboring Guinea.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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