GHANA/SIERRA LEONE: SEFA finances studies for 2 biomass plants

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GHANA/SIERRA LEONE: Sefa is financing studies for 2 biomass plants © Pedal to the Stock/Shutterstock

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) is providing a repayable grant of $1 million to NewAfrica Impact. The company will use this funding to carry out feasibility studies for two biomass power plants in Ghana and Sierra Leone.

NewAfrica Impact wants to build two biomass power plants in Ghana and Sierra Leone. The London-based portfolio manager has just secured a $1 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a facility of the African Development Bank (AfDB) that supports the deployment of renewable energy in Africa. In Ghana and Sierra Leone, NewAfrica Impact will process wood waste for self-consumption.

The repayable grant from SEFA is intended to support technical feasibility studies and regulatory structuring of the projects. For each power plant using agroforestry waste as fuel, NewAfrica Impact plans to produce 5 MW of electricity. The heat produced by the incinerators (10 MW) will be recovered to heat the wood processing machines.

Heat recovery

“The SEFA process has already improved the quality of our development work, including environmental impact assessments, and with the approval of the project, we will create a new and efficient solution to combine energy production for productive purposes and household consumption through mini-grids,” says Mads Asprem, managing partner of NewAfrica Impact.

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Its two biomass plants will have a combined capacity of 10 MW, and 22 MW of thermal capacity. This energy is intended to power wood processing plants. But in Sierra Leone, where only 26% of the population has access to electricity according to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), NewAfrica Impact will provide some of the electricity produced by its biomass plant to the people living near the wood processing plant.

At least 5,000 Sierra Leonean households should benefit from the project. The construction of the two biomass plants will create 125 temporary and 60 permanent jobs. According to NewAfrica Impact, the plants will also offset the emissions of 45,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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