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Studies are under way for two small hydropower projects in Burundi

Power producer Tembo Power is partnering with WK Construction to conduct detailed studies for the development phase of the 7.5-MW Dama and 12-MW Siguvyaye run-of-river hydropower projects located in Burundi.

The agreement will also grant WK Construction the status of preferred engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, while its investment arm, WK Power, will retain a minority equity stake in the projects.

Both projects are on track to reach financial close in the third quarter of 2021 and the combined investment is about $50 million, according to a joint media statement.

The statement further noted that the extended agreement confirms the technical-economic viability of the projects and demonstrates the success of the ongoing 15-MW Kaptis partnership in Kenya. Here, Tembo Power dealt mainly with the overall development, while WK Construction brought key technical expertise to get to financial closing with a minimum degree of uncertainty, that shall also largely benefit actual execution.

“We are delighted to pursue our partnership with WK Construction into Burundi, as this will allow us to leverage the experience gained together in Kenya and fast track the detailed studies development phase prior to financial closing. WK Construction is also a leading pipeline contractor, which makes it an ideal partner for the Burundian projects, which consist in high heads and low rated flow,” said Raphael Khalifa, founder of Tembo Power.

About the hydropower projects

The Dama and Siguvyaye projects are in the permitting phase. Aurecon, a South African engineering firm and a strategic technical partner of Tembo Power, has conducted the feasibility studies, including geotechnical and geophysical surveys.

Trinity LLP is advising Tembo Power on the legal aspects to finance the projects according to international project financing standards.

These projects will benefit from Burundi’s improving political and business climate, as demonstrated by the success of other independent power producers in recent months.

“At WK we are excited to be extending our partnership with Tembo and expanding the footprint of hydropower projects that we are involved within East Africa. These projects add to our existing projects in Uganda and Kenya. WK firmly believes the project partners complement each other’s skillsets and make a formidable team to develop these projects,” says Karl Kusel, CEO, WK Construction.

This article was originally posted by ESI Africa and was republished with permission.

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