Bumbuna is a priority project of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) as it has the potential to provide a balancing base load through the CLSG interconnector, another WAPP project which is also supported by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. The Bumbuna Phase II Project involves the expansion of the Bumbuna Hydro-electric station, from 50 MW to up to 372 MW, the upgrade of the Bumbuna-Freetown power line and the interconnection to the CLSG interconnector and local transmission lines.
Construction works are expected to start between 2018 and 2020 after completion of financing (now expected September 2017) and other project negotiations. As at December 2015, various technical studies have been completed or are on-going. The project suffered delays in 2015 in part due to Ebola, developer concerns over the global and Sierra Leone economic situation, and to difficult negotiations on project terms between the project developers and Government of Sierra Leone. In January 2016, a way forward was found and work on the project preparation resumed.
The EU-AITF technical assistance funding is used to cover technical, financial, legal, environmental and social impact and insurance advisory services to the Government of Sierra Leone for its interaction with private sector project developers and for the completion of the project, as well as a small amount for scoping of dispatch system requirements and grant administration.
The financial advisor and procurement coordinator, the technical advisor and international and local legal advisor have been contracted in April 2014 and the technical assistance is on-going.