Power to Sierra Leone
Bagruwa Chiefdon, Moyamba
Electricity production is considerably below the levels required for socio-economic development. Less than 10% of Sierra Leone’s total population has access to electricity, a figure that is very low by both regional and international standards. Only around 1% of the rural population has access to electricity. Besides, it is characterized by poor investments in generation, transmission, and distribution resulting in very low generating capacity, rising transmission and distribution losses (about 45%), poor revenue collection, and restricted distribution systems in major towns. Whereas the electricity demand nationwide is estimated at 125 MW, the installed capacity is 113 MW and functional capacity is only 52.96 MW including the Bumbuna hydro power project which supplies power to the national capital Freetown. Though there are over 20 hydropower sites that can potentially produce over 1200 MW of electricity, it has not been utilized and currently constitutes only about 56 MW of the total power generation.
According to the country’s Power Sector Master Plan (1996), 27 potential hydropower sites with a total capacity of 1,513 MW have been identified. However, except for two sites -- Bumbuna project (total capacity 275 MW) and the envisaged Bekongor project, (total capacity 200 MW), others suffer from water flow rate variations between the wet and dry seasons.
and community at Moyamba
A baseline study undertaken in January 2010 indicated that the agriculture sector is dominated by crop farming, which is mostly done on subsistence basis and employs rudimentary production techniques with the main crops being rice, cassava, potatoes, yam and cocoyam. During the local level stakeholder consultation in the chiefdom and district, it was revealed by the representatives of the farming community that Moyamba district has the distinction of growing the highest quantity of cassava in the country. However, in the absence of any electricity infrastructure, the raw cassava cannot be processed properly and the farmers are unable to reap the benefits. TERI helped UNIDO in the baseline survey, stakeholder consultations and documentation as per GEF (Global Environment Facility) guidelines.
The project is planned for completion in phases with implementation spread over four years and one year of preparation period. The phase I which includes identification, pre-feasibility, socio-economic study and stockholder’s consultations has been completed. In phase II, which is due to start, includes the development of a detailed work plan for the execution of project components, preparation of engineering design and detailed project report for SHP pilot project would be carried out. In addition, it would also see the initiation of institutional capacity building and training for small hydro development. Phase III will focus on the installation and commissioning of pilot SHP project and training and capacity building activities and design of policy and regulatory framework.
- To demonstrate the viability of small hydro power (SHP) and establish policy guidelines; institutional linkages, responsibility and capacity within the government, the private sector and local community through an integrated approach in harnessing small hydro resources and applied in productive uses.
- To provide rural economic and social opportunities through access to affordable and reliable energy supplies, which will lead to better load management and operational viability for the small hydro facility.
- To remove the institutional, technical, policy and economic barriers to the promotion of small hydro power (SHP) for productive applications in Sierra Leone.
- To reduce GHG emissions from fossil-based power by accelerating the development of small hydro resources.
- To develop a market-based approach through public-private partnerships for promoting small hydro power-based mini grids to stimulate productive capacities in the Sierra Leone.
- A 10 MW pilot scale small hydro power-based mini grid project will be set up in the country to demonstrate the feasibility.
- To build institutional capacity of stakeholders for project planning and implementation.
- To develop local capacity for operation and maintenance of SHP plants, promote local manufacturing capacity for SHP components and other productive applications of electricity from the small hydro power plant.