Sierra Leone’s Joule Africa secures US$6m from InfraCo for Bumbuna II hydroelectric project

SIERRA LEONEJoule Africa, a developer owner-operator of sustainable power projects across Africa, has secured US$6 million from InfraCo Africa for the implementation of the second phase of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project in Sierra Leone.

The Bumbuna II hydropower project will involve the construction of a new dam on the Seli River at Yiben, 32 km upstream of the 50MW Bumbuna I dam.

The future reservoir will have a surface area of 115 km² , storing enough water effectively run a hydroelectric power station equipped with two turbines.

“The Bumbuna Hydro II is expected to have an extremely positive impact, enabling sustainable economic development in Sierra Leone,” Gilles Vaes, Managing Director of InfraCo Africa said.

The project is an extension of the Bumbuna I hydroelectric power station, which currently has three turbines supplying 50MW of power to Sierra Leone’s national grid.

Upon completion, Bumbuna II hydropower project is expected to generate 143 MW which will be injected into the Sierra Leone power grid via a 225 kV transmission line from Yiben in northern Sierra Leone to Freetown in the west.

This high voltage line will also be connected to the West African Power Exchange System which interconnects several countries including Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Bumbuna II is being developed by Joule Africa through the ad hoc company Seli Hydropower.

InfraCo Africa’s financing brings Joule Africa closer to completing the financing of the future hydropower plant.

In addition to InfraCo which is part of the PIDG company, Joule Africa has also received investment pledges from the Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI), an investment fund of the European Union.

The power producing company has also received funds from the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA); and the African Alpha Investment Partners, a London-based investment company dedicated to infrastructure development on the African continent.

Joule Africa hopes to complete the financing of its project in 2021 in order to be able to start the construction phase which will is expected to last for a period of 48 months.

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