Sierra Leone’s power industry is severely constrained, with electricity available to only about 10% of the country’s households. As a result, additional efficient electricity-generating capacity is required. The African Contemporary Institute of Design, in collaboration with CEC Africa (Sierra Leone) Limited (CECASL) – a partnership between EC Africa Investments Limited (a subsidiary of Copperbelt Energy Corporation plc [CEC]) and TCQ Power Limited (TCQ), conceptualizes the power plant located in Sierra Leone using the National Environmental Policy, National Energy Policy, National Land Policy (2005), and the National Water and Sanitation Policy in conceptualizing the power plant. 

As an institute working from different countries across Africa to pioneer cutting-edge socio-spatial and environmental research, this project summary assesses the impact of building an electricity-generating heavy fuel oil power plant. The project is analysed in two phases across a two-year period. To determine the local parameters, the conducted survey revealed that industrial and commercial uses predominate the project area, with some formal and informal settlements and schools scattered around. Subsequently, the host community’s housing patterns, ethnicity, health hazards, livelihood, and available social amenities were all examined to identify potential problem areas.

Following the survey, the project is expected to be located in the Kissy Dock region of Sierra Leone, approximately 4 kilometers from Freetown, with a total output of 128 Megawatts electric. For the community, the initiative’s possible outcomes will be job creation with increased demand for social services and local infrastructure, as well as increased insecurity and criminality. Displacement of artisanal farmers could occur. If there is a spill, it may impact fishing and agriculture.

We project that during construction, there may be increased risks to health and safety due to improper disposal of excavated materials and threatened flora and fauna could become extinct. During operation, sewage plant effluent, construction waste, industrial wastewater, and contaminated stormwater may further pollute surface water. Resulting in flooding. Finally, post-construction, a monitoring program and an environmental and social management plan are recommended to prevent and mitigate future risks.