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Sierra Leone Business: UAE-based AMEA Power explores Salone’s investment opportunities

The United Arab Emirates-based AMEA Power, an energy producing giant, is exploring investment opportunities in Sierra Leone, a top official disclosed on Tuesday. Hussain J. AI Nowais, Chairman of the company whose interest is focused in Africa, Middle-East and Asia, is currently heading a delegation on a visit to Sierra Leone. According to a release from State House, Chairman AI Nowais met with President Julius Maada Bio last week, where he officially expressed his interest in investing in the country. AMEA Power is an energy producing company that develops, owns, and operates thermal and renewable power projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The company offers a wide range of power solutions that meet the needs of the emerging markets they cater to, including conventional (Gas, Coal and Oil) and Renewable (Solar PV and CSP, Wind, Hydro and Hybrid) power plants. The Sierra Leone Ambassador to the UAE, Rashid Sesay, recalled that during his courtesy call on the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp in the UAE, he spoke about the challenges of the energy sector in Sierra Leone, adding that that meeting led to his meeting with Chairman AI Nowais, who according to him, was one of the biggest players in the renewable energy sector in the UAE. The release went on to say that Chairman AI Nowais said they were very interested in investing in Sierra Leone’s energy sector. He said energy was the driving growth of any economy, adding that without energy it was difficult to grow an economy. He noted that they were now looking at investing in different African countries, having already undertaken a lot of investments in the Middle East. “We are looking at Sierra Leone as a place for investment and I am here to explore the investment opportunities in the energy sector” he was quoted as saying. “We realized Sierra Leone has the potential and the need for growing its economy by investing in energy. The project will benefit Sierra Leone by generating power and expanding its base, helping to grow the economy and will also provide comfort to Sierra Leoneans,” he added. Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, said that during his visit to the UAE, they both spoke about the general energy situation in Sierra Leone with particular reference to the Western Area Generation Project, which the new government inherited, but was facing challenges after the World Bank, being one of the key players, withdrew from the project. “During our discussions, Chairman AINowais got to know about the project and has expressed interest in looking at it again, so we agreed that he should visit Sierra Leone and that is why he is here with his team with whom we have done preliminary discussions at the Ministry. His team is now working with my technical team to see how we are going to progress from here” he said. President Bio said that energy was an important backbone for any economy and that the country could not embark on development, which was in dire need, without reliable power supply, adding that his government would welcome any project, be it government or private partnership that would work towards creating a very reliable power supply in the country.

By Zainab Iyamide Joaque

Monday February 11, 2019.

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