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Architecture Design and Construction Services Lahore

Octopus Energy To Develop Sierra Leone Wind Farm


The UK’s Octopus Energy Generation has signed a partnership agreement with Sherbro Alliance Partners (SAP) to develop a wind farm in Sierra Leone as part of the Sherbro Island City project.
The deal was announced at the COP28 climate summit, which is being held from 30 November to 12 December in the UAE.
The project involves the installation of up to five wind turbines and solar panels with battery storage on Sherbro Island, a tropical island that lies within the Bonthe district in the Southern province of Sierra Leone. The partners are currently exploring options for the exact location of the site, with installation planned for 2024. There is potential for future expansion of the agreement.
UK-registered SAP is a development company co-founded by British actor Idris Elba and Siaka Stevens, a grandson of former president of Sierra Leone Siaka Probyn Stevens. 
The company is undertaking the development of the Sherbro Island City special economic zone (SEZ), a designated semi-autonomous area, which aims to transform the island into a West African economic hub and eco-city. It is being developed under a public-private partnership with the government of Sierra Leone.
The wind farm is set to power the future city.
Sherbro Island City concept
Source: Sherbro Island City“We look at the pristine beaches of Sherbro Island, with the goal of creating a culturally diverse international city that blends African tradition, dynamism, and pride with state-of-the-art infrastructure and services, where development sits in harmony with sustainability,” said Idris Elba at the wind farm announcement on 30 November. 
“We’re pleased to partner with Octopus Energy who share a profound commitment to sustainability and energy, which will be a backbone to development on Sherbro.”
The vision for Sherbro Island City is to replicate the success seen in economic hubs such as Singapore and Dubai, with a focus on efficient governance, robust infrastructure including high-speed connectivity, and healthcare, education, entertainment, business and talent development.
The economy of Sherbro Island City is initially expected to be driven by tourism with plans for beach resorts and eco-tourism developments. Early pilot investments for agricultural projects and aquaculture farms are also under consideration.
Sherbro Island City conceptual plan
Source: Sherbro Island CitySAP says it will work with real estate companies and developers to build premium but affordable energy-efficient buildings and apartments. The city will also have an integrated, smart, clean transport network.
Sherbro Island City will also target the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) industry in West Africa.
Sherbro Island location and connectivity
Source: Sherbro Island CityThe city is set to be developed in three phases. The first phase concerns the feasibility studies and the preparation of the masterplan concept.
The second phase will focus on the implementation of a small number of projects that can be quickly executed with affordable levels of infrastructure investment as foundation industries to catalyse the development of the island and on the detailed evaluation and scoping of strategic industries. These strategic industries are expected to include larger scale tourism projects, education/training centres, a media, entertainment and financial district, healthcare, and selected technology services sectors. The initial transport and utility infrastructure will also be built.
The third phase will consist of sub-phases in which large-scale development will be carried out across the island in a range of commercial, residential and infrastructure sectors. Extensive commercial linkages will be created with businesses on the mainland. These will be followed by larger projects to build out the catalyst industries and establish new industries. Public services will also be expanded and city-scale infrastructure rolled out.
In September 2019, the government of Sierra Leone and SAP inked a memorandum of understanding for the development of Sherbro Island City. In December 2022, the parties signed an investment framework agreement (IFA). 
Providing an update on the project in February, Elba said the next steps included the need to market and promote the project internationally and to continue to organise the detailed feasibility studies that will be carried out by SAP and consultants.
Top photo: Agreement signing ceremony (Source: Octopus Energy Generation)


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