Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a momentous session, the Parliament of Sierra Leone unanimously ratified the amended 28.2MW Betmai HydroElectric Power project agreement, marking a significant milestone in the country’s quest for energy security. The project, set to be developed along the Pampana River, promises to usher in a new era of improved electricity supply for Sierra Leone.
The enthusiastic endorsement of the agreement is a giant stride toward energy security. The locally-owned 28.2MW Betmai HydroElectric Power project is poised to have a lasting impact on Sierra Leone’s energy landscape. Deputy Energy Minister Eldred Taylor presented the agreement to Parliament for debate and ratification.
Taylor emphasized that extensive negotiations, involving the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority, were undertaken to bring this 28.2MW hydro project to fruition. This project, located in the Tonkolili district, operates under a build-operate-and-transfer model with a twenty-five-year concession agreement. With the right distribution network, it has the potential to provide electricity access to around 2 million people in rural areas.
The Betmai Power plant will connect to the CLSG Transmission Lines, significantly enhancing the infrastructural development of a self-sufficient energy nation. The project’s importance lies in its capacity to provide energy security and facilitate the technical integration of the West African power energy distribution system.
Minister Taylor also highlighted the project’s potential to create more than two thousand jobs during the construction phase, contributing to employment opportunities. Upon completion, the project will complement the Bumbuna Hydro power supply, offering an affordable tariff and catalyzing development in eastern Sierra Leone.
The government’s commitment to partnering with the private sector for state development was reiterated, reaffirming the open-door policy and dedication to progress.
Hon. Kekura Vandy, Parliamentary Chairperson on Energy, expressed gratitude to the Speaker of Parliament for his guidance on energy-related matters. He emphasized the promise of affordability in the agreement, considering the low tariff it would bring. Vandy praised the twenty-five-year concession and the tangible benefits it would bring, especially by increasing the electricity supply for the country. He called upon his colleagues and Members of Parliament to support this transformative project, emphasizing that it is a non-controversial initiative with enormous potential to positively impact Sierra Leone’s energy landscape.
Sierra Leone is on the verge of a significant breakthrough in its pursuit of energy security, thanks to the ratification of the 28.2MW Betmai HydroElectric Power project. The commitment to sustainable development and energy security remains unwavering as the nation moves forward. MJB/23/10/2023