Commencement of the Landmark Solar Park Freetown Project (6MW) following meetings in Abu Dhabi between The Government of Sierra Leone Embassy to the UAE, ADFD, IRENA, the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) and the Project Manager (ASIC), as appointed by the Government of Sierra Leone and subsequent groundbreaking in Freetown, Sierra Leone
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, March 23, 2016/ -- The Government of Sierra Leone represented by the Ministry of Energy/Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 09, 2016 is pleased to announce that Sierra Leone has made a number of critical steps to commence the implementation of the Solar Park Freetown Project. These important steps 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, Mulk-OGI both as Consortium. The progress made in these areas was notified to ADFD and IRENA during meetings held on the sidelines of the 2016 World Future Energy Summit (WFES), where the Government of Sierra Leone, Ambassador to the UAE and the Ministry of Energy PIU met with ADFD and IRENA representatives and the Project Manager, ASIC.
“….Mr. Speaker, this Honourable House has ratified the Agreement between my Government and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for the installation of 6MW solar power park in Newton and its environs….”
H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, statement read out to Sierra Leone parliament, Sierra Leone Telegraph, 13th, December 2015.
It was further discussed, that due to the falling world solar prices, the Project Consortium will try to include non-revenue generating assets such as an additional extension of road and grid-power infrastructure, incl. a necessary extension of the 161KV grid power line, distribution networks, and a substation as part of the total project cost, which will significantly and further benefit the Government and the people of Sierra Leone.
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, will provide clean Renewable Electricity to urban and western rural districts around the capital, Freetown. This is a landmark Renewable Energy Project in West Africa, adding valuable and needed clean electricity to the grid, as well as important power infrastructure and international know-how to Sierra Leone.
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 project facility, in order to provide a most efficient implementation of sustainable Renewable Energy and knowledge transfer, for Sierra Leone’s particular geographic and socio-economic situation.
“…On behalf of the Government and People of Sierra Leone, we would like to extend our gratitude to IRENA for coordinating the selection process, the ADFD for extending USD 9 million as part funding to the Government of Sierra Leone and to ASIC and Mulk-OGI that will lead the Project Management and EPC of the Project respectively. This important project will place Sierra Leone on the global map of sustainable Renewable Energy and provide valuable knowledge transfer and necessary supporting infrastructure, and further strengthen the existing cordial relationship between the Governments of Sierra Leone and the United Arab Emirates….”
H.E. Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, Republic of Sierra Leone
The ASIC General Manager also highlighted the important role that the Sierra Leone Diplomatic staff in the UAE, H.E. Ambassador Siray Alpha Timbo, Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the UAE, and Bahige Annan, Consul General of Sierra Leone in Dubai, as well as H.E. Ambassador Henry O. Macauley, Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone, and Dr Patrick Tarawalli, Technical Adviser / Head of the PIU, has played in making this project a reality;
“… Because of the critical support and knowledgeable advise from H.E. Amb. Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, and Dr Patrick Tarawalli, Technical Adviser and Head of the PIU, this Project has built a strong foundation and platform to provide sustainable electricity to Sierra Leone for generations to come. We also wish to thank H.E. Amb. Siray Alpha Timbo, Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the UAE, and Bahige Annan, Consul General of Sierra Leone in Dubai, whose professional and smooth coordination has greatly facilitated the speed and coordination between all project components, enabling a professional project delivery….”
Filip Matwin, General Manager of Advanced Science and Innovation Company (ASIC) LLC
After the successful official kick-off meetings in Abu Dhabi with all the Project stakeholders, the Solar Park Freetown Project Team at the Ministry of Energy, Key Stakeholders and Consortium had an official Kick-off and ground breaking of the project in Freetown, Sierra Leone on March 9th, 2016.
The ASIC-MULK-OGI team, in assistance of the PIU of the Ministry of Energy, assessed the site in Newton Freetown and prepared a step by step plan for the ‘on the ground’ project implementation. The team further made calculations and assessment on providing an extended Power supply and the construction of a 161KV Transmission Line and substation, all which will be included in the overall Project delivery cost and is a necessity for successful connection to the main grid.
“Mulk-OGI an associate company of Mulk Renewable Energy, a global EPC entity, is extremely pleased to be part of the Solar Project in Freetown, Sierra Leone. We look forward to the exciting challenge ahead of executing the EPC contract at the earliest. We extend our profound thanks and gratitude to IRENA, ADFD, the Ministry of Energy of Sierra Leone, the PIU, His Excellences The Ambassador to UAE and Consul General to UAE, and ASIC for their support in winning and procuring this project" remarked Khurram K Nawab, MD Mulk-OGI UAE.
During the visit to Freetown, ASIC-MULK operational team together with the PIU outlined a road map of the the next high level steps in moving ahead with the project efficiently. Some of the immediate next steps of the road map were also discussed including the finalization of the Project Master plan, the selection and sourcing of local contractors, on site mobilization of EPC workforce, and the setting up of a Project camp at Newton, which will host the workforce and provide capabilities of onsite liaison with the PIU, government and the local community.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Ministry of Energy, Republic of Sierra Leone.