The government of Sierra Leone is planning to persuade the Environment Protection Agency to award the Environment and Social Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) licence for the commencement of work on the Bumbuna II project.
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Osmond Hanciles, has revealed that the Public Consultation and Disclosure of the Environment and Social Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) report – compiled by SELI Hydropower on the Bumbuna II Hydroelectric Power Project has been concluded, the Concord reported.
On completion, the project will generate 143MW of electricity for communities across Sierra Leone. Read more...
According to the Minister, at present the west African country enjoys 20% access rate to electricity supply, however when the Bumbuna II project reaches completion, electricity accessibility rate will be 30%.
“We have tried to improve the distribution capacity of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) because in 2007 there was 47 kilowatt hours, but it is now 400 kilowatts hours. This is a significant improvement in the energy sector,” he said.
He added that the country now has capacity to accommodate over 100MW within Freetown and its surrounding areas.
Completion of Bumbuna II project
Hanciles assured that when the Bumbuna II project is completed, the ministry of energy and its utility companies will be able to supply at least 80MW without any glitches.
Executive chairman of SELI Hydropower, Patrick Olufemi Beckley, said they have put mitigating strategies in place to prevent potential hazard in areas where Bumbuna II project would be implemented.
“Initially, SELI Hydropower intended to implement the Bumbuna II produce so that it would produce 365MW electricity, and supply to major historic towns in Tonkolili District.
“But President [Ernest Bai] Koroma said inasmuch as he wanted to provide electricity to all Sierra Leoneans, he actually wants the people to stay within their environment and that they should not be disturbed by the project. After that statement, we decided to reduce it to 143MW and we thanked President Koroma for thinking about the welfare of the people,” said Beckley.