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The Masada Waste Transformers has taken first place for the West African Forum for Climate & Clean Energy Financing award worth $25 million.

The business plan of the Masada Waste Transformers; a joint venture comprising of The Waste Transformers from the Netherlands and Masada Waste Management in Sierra Leone, was recognised as the best out of 150 contestants, reports the Sierra Leone Telegraph.

The 10 selected finalists were invited to pitch for a mix of over 200 investors and judged by a panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the African Development Bank, Private Equity and Institutional Finance.

Aminata Dumbuya, a partner in Masada Waste Management, said: “Together with The Waste Transformers, we have gone on a long journey in order to bring us this far. Sierra Leone has experienced a rapid increase in energy demand in recent years while simultaneously grappling with problems that swing from Ebola to growing waste volumes and increased need for an intelligent (re)application of our natural resources. The socially inclusive, innovative approach we have developed provides effective solutions to both challenges.”

New energy for Sierra Leone

By working together, partners of the Masada Waste Transformers will provide a high-impact approach to resource recovery and energy production that could power Sierra Leone’s sustainable economic growth, in a way that is clean, green, entrepreneurial and smart.

Lara van Druten, Managing Director of The Waste Transformers, said: “This Joint Venture demonstrates how companies can cooperate in a mutually inclusive way that generates energy for positive economic and social change. Read more: 25MW solar PV project to boost Bo District

“We are excited at the opportunity to transform an unused resource – waste – into new energy for Sierra Leone. And, we are truly delighted that this distinguished and experienced panel, has expressed such enormous confidence in our team and our business plan.”

This year’s competition attracted over 150 contestants from all over West Africa and 20 were admitted into the semi-finals in Lagos, Nigeria, and were assigned coaches in June 2017, to sharpen their business plans and submit to the final round.

Diverse renewable energy projects

Members of the top three finalists. Source: The Sierra Leone Telegraph

Dumbuya noted: “The competition was well attended and witnessed by a mix of over 200 investors from both private equity and debt funds and judged by a professional panel of judges composed of representatives from the African Development Bank, Private Equity and Institutional Finance Personalities to listen to and judge the 10 finalists that emerged from the 150 contestants across West Africa.

“This is unprecedented, as out of this year’s 10 finalists, the top three diverse renewable energy projects –  Waste to Energy, Solar PV and Hydro, from Sierra Leone, won the competition.

“The competition was tight and against projects from Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Ghana, and Sierra Leone clenched the winning prize. This is a great testament to all the hard work that we have done as a country to integrate our energy mix and taking on an energy revolution.”