Supporting the development of hydropower plant in Guinea-Bissau

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) today approved a grant worth approximately USD 1 million to support the development of a hydropower plant with an estimated capacity of 20 MW at Salthino in Guinea-Bissau. SEFA is a multi-donor facility funded by the governments of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States, and hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The development of the plant is part of the “Promoting investments in small to medium-scale renewable energy technologies in the electricity sector of Guinea-Bissau” project, funded by the Global Environmental Facility and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the Ministry of Energy and Industry. The Salthino hydro site is developed in the context of a wider regional transmission line project which will allow power trade between Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia and Senegal in the near future.

Due to Guinea-Bissau’s dependence on expensive diesel generation, the country’s electricity generation costs and consumer tariffs are some of the highest in West Africa. A chronic energy crisis is hampering social, economic and industrial development. Currently, only a small part of the population has access to electricity services. Due to the unreliable and expensive power supply, the productivity and competitiveness of the mainly agro-based industry remains low.

Martin Lugmayr, Sustainable Energy Expert from UNIDO, said that hydro power can produce clean electricity at a much lower price than the existing diesel and heavy fuel oil plants, which Guinea-Bissau is currently heavily dependent on: “Hydropower has the potential to become the main driver for social, economic and industrial development in urban and rural areas. It will also improve the carbon footprint of the country, marking a transformational shift to sustainable energy.”

Through the provision of clean and renewable energy, the project will also contribute to one of the objectives of Sustainable Energy for All, namely doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.

For more information, please contact:

Martin Lugmayr
UNIDO Expert in Sustainable Energy
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Source: UNIDO

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