President Ernest Bai Koroma has admonished staff at the National Power Authority (NPA), Kingtom in Freetown, not to get carried away by the 15MW generator which is currently producing some semblance of electricity in the capital.
“The work has just started; we should start now in providing sustainable energy in Freetown and the rest of the country. The challenges have been very [Herculean],” President Koroma stated, adding that, “we have provided an additional 15 MW from what we inherited which was 7 MW, and we can now boast of 22 MW.”
The Head of State noted that, “we now have some semblance of light in Freetown but we also know that it is not enough for even Freetown. What we require in Freetown is a minimum of 60MW.”
He stated that, “we also require in Freetown an efficient distribution network and we are yet to get there,” adding further that, “what we have as the 10MW was a great effort by the World Bank…”
The President lauded the World Bank for its effort in ensuring a semblance provision of energy. After one year, he said, “we should be thinking of a sustainable provision of energy.”
“We are just coming from a retreat at Bumbuna…the location of the retreat is intended to send a clear message that energy is still our priority and out of that retreat energy remains number one in our agenda for change,” the Fountain of Honour maintained.
“We have come out with an agenda for change and energy is still there,” the President averred, noting further that, “for us to have a sustainable energy provision in this country, Bumbuna would be one of the solutions,” he said.
“Let us be very clear about it, even with Bumbuna our problems would not be over,” the President stressed.
“Bumbuna is only coming with a 50MW the one that we are going to conclude this year is not enough for Freetown,” the President disclosed.
“This year is going to be the year we should engage ourselves to ensure that we agree on a clear road map for a permanent and sustainable energy provision in this country, so even with this 15MW the question is, how should we sustain it beyond 2008,” he said. “We are happy to report that with that there is great work and effort having done in Bumbuna. We do hope that by April impounding would commence and by June civil and mechanical work would have been completed [but] we still have to address the problem of distribution of light,” the President stressed.
He also pointed out that the NPA management needed serious overhauling, and that there was going to be restructuring of it.
The World Bank director, Ishac Diwan said “the Bank is pleased to support Sierra Leone government’s competitive procurement of 15MW of emergency power facilities at the Kingtom substation”.
He said these facilities would help to address the urgent electricity needs of Freetown until long term power supplies, including supplies from the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project, became available.