Sierra Leone’s 350 MW Bumbuna hydro project moves into second phase

Freetown, Sierra Leone, May 25, 2011 Coinciding with the 50-year anniversary of the country’s independence, Sierra Leone will celebrate a planned threefold increase in the total power output of the country.

Following a two-year search for a suitable partner to develop the second phase of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric power station, the government of Sierra Leone has agreed to partner with Joule Africa through a memorandum of understanding signed with the Ministry of Energy & Water Resources.

Joule Africa is a newly-formed member of the Joule Investments group, a California-based developer and owner and operator of hydroelectric power projects in emerging markets.

Joule Africa is committing to complete the second phase of the project within six years, allowing Sierra Leone to enjoy the full benefits of the additional power by the beginning of 2017.

The government of Sierra Leone has insisted on a strict timetable to completion for Joule Africa with deliverable milestones every six months. Work is anticipated to start on the initial feasibility studies within thirty days.

Initial estimates put the incremental increase in power capacity at up to 350 MW, bringing the total Bumbuna power capacity to 400 MW. Sierra Leone currently has one of the lowest levels of electricity in Sub Saharan Africa at under 100 MW.

Joule Investments has development rights of up to 1.8 GW in Latin America and is currently building 230 MW of mini hydro dams in Chile. It is expanding into Columbia in 2011 and has plans for expansion into Costa Rica in 2012.

Joule Africa has been established to develop hydroelectric projects in Sub Saharan Africa with an initial focus on West Africa. The development of phase two of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric project with the GoSL will be the first major project in the region.

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