Guinea Bissau to get hydropower plant

hydropower DonShall flickrThe upcoming project will aim to reduce Guinea Bissau’s dependence on diesel. (Image source: DonShall/Flickr)The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a US$965,000 grant to support the preparation of a turnkey hydropower plant in Saltinho, Guinea Bissau

The plant is expected to have a capacity of 20MW, said AfDB. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Energy Week in September.

The upcoming hydropower plant will be interconnected by a transmission line to Bissau and neighbouring countries, within the framework of the regional energy programme by the Organisation for the Development of the Gambia River, which is co-financed by AfDB.

Aside from providing technical assistance, the SEFA grant is also expected to contribute to the project's feasibility. A technical feasibility study, along with institutional and financial schemes for an IPP/PPP agreement, will be carried out.

SEFA coordinator Joao Duarte Cunha said, “SEFA grant support aims at attracting strong private partners and investors, enable the project to reach bankability and have a high demonstration effect in Guinea-Bissau as the first independent power producer or Public-Private Partnership Project.”

This is the first large renewable energy project, and the first project finance deal in a transition country with the AfDB’s participation. When completed, this regional project will boost the total installed capacity in the country, currently capped at 26MW. In addition, the project will lead to energy diversification and decrease the average cost of power production. Through this project, Guinea Bissau can reduce its dependence on diesel and heavy fuel oil, which would also reduce the country’s carbon footprint.

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