Sierra Leone again extends call for operator at 50-MW Bumbuna

Sierra Leone has again renewed its call for expressions of interest from prospective operators of its 50-MW Bumbuna hydroelectric project. Responses now are due November 25.

After years of interruption by civil war, Sierra Leone plans to finish the project, which is 85 percent complete, on the Seli River, 250 kilometers from Freetown. (HNN 9/19/06) The 50-MW project is the first stage of a five-stage program that eventually is to total 275 MW.

The government plans to enter a concession agreement with Bumbuna Power Generation Co., which will be partially owned by the government. Bumbuna Power is to enter a five-year renewable management contract with an international utility company that is to manage the operation and maintenance of the plant and its associated transmission facilities.

Proposed work of the operating company includes mobilization of staff and planning six months prior to the commissioning of the first of two 25-MW units. Additionally, the contractor is to supply and implement reservoir and energy management software. The contractor also is to staff, operate, and maintain the project and train local staff. The project is described at the Internet site www.bumbuna.com.

Last year, Hydro-Quebec International of Canada received a US$633,200 contract to provide engineering services for Bumbuna, which includes an 88-meter-tall asphalt-faced rockfill dam, two tunnels, powerhouse, and 200-kilometer transmission line linking the project with Freetown, Makeni, and Lunsar.

The Ministry of Energy and Power invites international utility companies to submit expressions of interest and qualifications, by e-mail, by 5 p.m. November 25 to the address below.

For information, contact Ministry of Energy and Power, Bumbuna Project Implementation Unit, Electricity House, 5th Floor, 36, Siaka Stevens St., Freetown, Sierra Leone; (232) 22-290140; E-mail: bumbunapiu@yahoo.com; Internet: www.bumbuna.com.

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