Under the agreement, Joule Africa will complete work on the second phase of Bumbuna within six years, allowing Sierra Leone to enjoy the full benefits of the additional power by the beginning of 2017. The Government of Sierra Leone has insisted on a strict timetable to completion for Joule Africa with deliverable milestones every six months. Work is anticipated to start on the initial feasibility studies within thirty days.

Initial estimates put the incremental increase in power capacity at up to 350MW, bringing the total Bumbuna power capacity to 400MW. Sierra Leone currently has one of the lowest levels of electricity in Sub Saharan Africa at under 100MW.

“Increasing the availability of affordable power has been a top priority for the APC since coming to power in 2007,” said the country’s president, His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. “I was delighted to commission the first phase of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric project [in 2009], which has delivered a significant increase in energy to Freetown. The signing of this partnership with Joule Africa makes possible the next major step in this journey. The completion of Bumbuna Phase Two will not only significantly increase the supply of consistent year-round energy to Freetown, but will make it increasingly attractive for international commercial and industrial businesses to invest in our country, bringing increased wealth, employment and training to the people of Sierra Leone.”

“We have a significant track record of working with developing countries and have at our disposal significant financial resources to make this project a reality,” added Joule Africa Managing Partner, Greg Newman. “We are committed to work closely with both the technical and financial community in Sierra Leone to make this a genuine partnership between Joule Africa and Sierra Leone, at every level. We are excited to be part of such an important national project which has the capacity to transform the industrial and commercial sectors within Sierra Leone.”

Joule Africa is a newly-formed member of the Joule Investments group, a California-based developer and owner and operator of hydroelectric power projects in emerging markets. It has been established to develop hydroelectric projects in Sub Saharan Africa with an initial focus on West Africa. The development of phase two of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric project will be the first major project in the region.