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10 MW power plant to serve 1m people

L-R NPA Gen. Manager, Japanese Ambassador and Minister of Energy and Power

L-R NPA Gen. Manager, Japanese Ambassador and Minister of Energy and Power

To increase the electricity supply in the Country, the Ministry of Energy and Power with funding from the Government of Japan yesterday launched the Japanese Grant Project for urgent improvement of electricity power supply systems in Freetown.
The US$16M grant is for the upgrading of the Kingtom Power Station, including the installation of 10Mega Watts (MW) diesel engine generators under Japan’s Grant Aid Scheme.
The Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, Keiichi Katakami said that, “the aim of the project is to create a stable power supply system with a view of revitalizing socio- economic activities in the Capital; and to improve the living standards of the people”.
He noted that in response to a request from the Government of Sierra Leone to the Government of Japan in 2005, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) dispatched a Basic Design Study Team in 2006 to assess the situation.
The findings of the study suggested that project components include the construction of a power house where diesel engine generators are to be installed; and the rehabilitation of the power distribution systems in order to maximize effects of the project.
Keiichi stated that, “it is expected that approximately one million residents in Freetown and the surrounding areas would benefit from the project”.
Implementation of the project, he said, would secure the capacity needed to ensure a stable supply of electricity; increased stability of power supply would then improve living standards, more stable operation of public facilities including hospitals and schools and stimulate vital industrial and economic activities.
The Ambassador emphasized that President Koroma has consistently underscored the crucial role of electricity supply in providing reliable socio-economic services to the citizens of Sierra Leone.
He pointed out that the facilities and equipments, when completed, would have to be appropriately maintained in order to sustain the project.    
The Minister of Energy and Power, Haja Afsatu Kabba pointed out that President Koroma’s vision of restoring electricity supply in the Country is been actualized.
She added that this is the second phase of the Project for Urgent Improvement of Electricity Supply System in Freetown; while the first phase was $5Million for the construction of a sub-station in Regent.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Alpha Kanu who deputized the President said that, this is a clear indication of the strong bilateral relationship between Japan and Sierra Leone; demonstrating the support from Japan in our energy sector. He noted that government acknowledges with satisfaction the support from the government and people of Japan not only in the energy sector, but also in Agriculture, Youth Employment and various technical and capacity building training programmes to strengthen our human resource capacity in the technical field.He emphasized that energy remains a priority for this I believe “we stand to benefit immensely from reliable electricity supply”.
He maintained that, we expect this project to be ready for test run by December 2009, urging all construction workers, staff of the Ministry and NPA to work as a team to ensure the project is completed on time.
By Abibatu Kamara

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