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ElectriFI has committed $3.5 million of development capital to finance 50% of Sierra Leone's 143MW Bumbuna II Hydroelectric power project's external development expenses.

According to a company statement, these expenses are needed to reach financial close of the project.

Joule Africa, the project sponsor, signed a 25-year PPA with the Government of Sierra Leone in August 2017 and selected a preferred EPC contractor to construct the project in February 2018.  Mandated Lead Arrangers for the debt finance will be selected by Joule Africa shortly and construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2019.

Andrew Cavaghan, Founder and Executive Chairman of Joule Africa Limited, said: “We are delighted to have secured the support of ElectriFI at this critical stage of development as we ramp up to finalise the financing and start construction.  Our team is now focused on completing the remaining activities so that the construction of this important project can begin.

“When complete, Bumbuna II will provide much-needed, affordable, reliable and clean power for the people of Sierra Leone where access to electricity is currently under 20%.” Read more: Sierra Leone: JV wins $25m for clean energy project

Dominiek Deconinck, ElectriFI Fund Manager, commented: “Bumbuna II is crucial for the Government of Sierra Leone to stimulate its energy sector and support its economic growth strategy. Bumbuna II will double the national generation capacity; indirectly encourage investments in transmission and distribution network; and allow the Government to show it is capable of managing large international infrastructure investments such as this.

"Joule Africa has demonstrated its capabilities as a professional, dedicated project developer, taking its role seriously, in particular by urging the adequacy of capacity in the Government and by pursuing net gains for the communities and the environment affected by the Project.”