Landmark Sierra Leone Solar Park inaugurated
The Government of Sierra Leone represented by the Ministry of Energy is pleased to announce that Sierra Leone has undergone a number of critical steps leading up to the historic landmark event on 12th of December 2017, where the Solar Park Freetown project was inaugurated and commenced by His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Enest Bai Koroma in presence of Former Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Samura Kamara and Hon. Minister of Energy, Henry Macauley, who is leading the project from the government’s side.
The important steps that the Government made leading up to the commencement, include, the ratification of the ADFD Loan by the Sierra Leone Government, establishment of a working Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at the Ministry of Energy in Sierra Leone, and the recent re-appointment of the UAE based Advanced Science and Innovation Company (ASIC) LLC as the Project Manager and Lead of the Solar Park Freetown Project and the EPC, SMRT Projects and Energy Solutions (SMRT P&ES) (www.SMRTPES.com). Together with the Project Management and Contractor, the project total costs have also been reduced from the initial USD18 million allocation to only USD12.6 million for all project components, including even certain critical infrastructure additions.
The landmark 6MW Solar Park Freetown Project, which won the first prestigious International Renewable Energy Agency and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (IRENA/ADFD) financing facility, was initiated and coordinated from its inception by late Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo and Dr. Bahige Annan the Consul General of Sierra Leone in Dubai, UAE and later further developed together with the Project Manager, Filip Matwin, CEO of ASIC. In close cooperation with the Minister of Energy and the PIU, the Project managed to overcome a number of hurdles and to be commenced in a landmark event, which will leave an important legacy for Sierra Leone.
The Project, will for the first time in the history of the country, provide large amounts of clean Renewable and sustainable Electricity to both urban and western rural districts around the capital, Freetown. This is a landmark Renewable Energy Project not only in Sierra Leone, but also in West Africa, adding valuable and needed clean electricity to the grid, as well as important power and supporting infrastructure and critical international know-how to Sierra Leone in the field of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development.
Solar Park Freetown Project is specially designed to include a number of institutional and critical human resource arrangements for sustainable management and international best practices of the IRENA/ADFD project facility. The Project has been specially structured by the Project Manager in coordination with the PIU, to provide a most efficient implementation of sustainable Renewable Energy and knowledge transfer, for Sierra Leone’s particular geographic and socio-economic situation, and to be in line with His Excellency’s the President of Sierra Leone and IRENA / ADFD’s goal of sustainable electrification in Sierra Leone.
The total cost of the project, which has been successfully reduced over the year by the Project Consortium (PM & EPC), include in addition to the 6MW Power Plant, assets such as an additional extension and upgrade of road and grid-power infrastructure, incl. a necessary extension of the 161KV grid power line, a distribution substation, and a MV/HV substation as part of the total project, which will significantly benefit the Government and the people of Sierra Leone.
As all the administrative and force majeur problems have been now solved, The Project Manager ASIC and the EPC SMRT have already started works and will now after the commencement be able to make daily progress on the project. Monthly updates to the PIU, community and the press will be given by the Project Manager and the EPC on the progress and each of the critical stages of the project will be shown and explained to maintain good momentum, full transparency and community inclusion.