Bumbuna Hydroelectric Plant phase I 'still not enough to meet demand'

16 December 2009

While the inauguration of the Bumbuna hydropower plant in Sierra Leone has brought a number of immediate benefits to the national economy, the first stage of the project is not enough on its own to supply the energy needs on the ground.

That is according to Samuel Onwona, the resident representative of the African Development Bank in Freetown, who has expressed his confidence that the newly-opened plant will continue to bring a feeling of "self-gratification and national pride" to the people of Sierra Leone, particularly given the economic disruption brought about by the recent civil war.

But, while the first phase of the hydroelectric plant will help bring down the cost of business in the country as more affordable and sustainable energy is made available, the Bumbana project is only part of the way towards meeting the country's total power needs.

"The Bumbuna Phase I Project only brings 50MW of power, which is not enough to meet the demand ... Bumbuna Phase II - estimated to bring on an additional 225MW of power - is needed along with rural electrification programs of mini hydroelectric plants," Mr Onwona said.

Furthermore, he added that bio-energy and solar energy sources will also be needed to meet Sierra Leone's growing energy needs.

News of the plant follows an announcement that the African Development Bank recently met in Dar es Salaam to sign a grant of $660,000 (£403,000) to be given from the African Private Sector Assistance scheme to the Access Bank Tanzania.

Category: Energy

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