A joint venture of Portugal’s COBA Consultores de Engenharia e Ambiete and the Portuguese subsidiary of France’s Artelia Eau & Environnement has been awarded a contract by the Organisation for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG) to carry out feasibility and detailed engineering studies for the construction and operation of a run-of-river hydropower plant with an estimated capacity of 20 MW on the Corubal River in the area of Saltinho in central Guinea-Bissau.
The €1.45 million contract, which was signed on 14 May, according to a notice issued on 3 June by the African Development Bank, is being financed with a grant awarded by the AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The contract, which will take 18 months, will entail the development of a bankable feasibility study and a detailed engineering and design study with a view to structuring the project to attract private investors and to help facilitate funding. The Saltinho project, which is to be sited some 100 km south-east of the capital Bissau, is part of a wider regional grid extension project, which will link the grids of the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. The sectorial objective of the study is to strengthen the regional cooperation and integration of OMVG member countries in the electricity sub-sector. In addition to boosting installed capacity, the project is designed to diversify power supply and help reduce the cost of production in Guinea-Bissau, which is over-dependent on expensive, imported diesel and heavy fuel oil, whilst improving the carbon footprint of the country.