Agreement signed for Steel Manufacturing and Power Plant
Sierra Leon’s Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Richard Konteh has signed a $180 million deal on behalf of the Sierra Leonean government for the building of a steel manufacturing and semi-captive power plant in the Northern Port – Loko district.
The deal was signed between the government, FIRST STEP and Shamshi Private Limited.
FIRST STEP is a subsidiary of World Hope International (WHI), a U.S. based non-profit international development agency. On its website the subsidiary describes its activity as “establishing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sierra Leone, in very close proximity to the country’s principal seaport. In this zone FIRST STEP is building scalable factory facilities, which will have access to guaranteed electric power, water, and other utilities and infrastructure. FIRST STEP is leasing space in the zone to businesses that wish to export from Sierra Leone. FIRST STEP is also assisting these business tenants with other forms of logistics support to make their establishment and operations as simple and inexpensive as possible”.
Ventures Africa quotes FIRST STEP Chief Executive Officer Richard Schroeder as saying “The Company will manufacture steel reinforcing bars (re-bar) that are essential to infrastructure development – buildings, roads, bridges etc. Re – bar, used in reinforcing concrete, which forms the basis of most infrastructure and construction projects. It will also generate 30MW of power, using three sources – 16MW from waste heat, 4MW from waste char and 10MW of thermal power.”