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New lease of life for Sierra Leone’s Makeni biofuels project

AOG has sold a 75.1% stake in its Makeni bioethanol project to Sunbird Bioenergy, which is developing two similar projects in Zambia and Zimbabwe. AOG launched the project in 2008, planning an ethanol refinery and a 30MW biomass-fuelled power plant, to power the refinery and supply 15MW to the national grid. Sunbird chief executive Richard Bennett told African Energy in a telephone interview the power plant and 85m litres/yr capacity distillery were completed but not yet commissioned. Addax had planted 10,000 hectares of sugarcane, but had failed to obtain sufficient crop yields to make the project economically viable, while development was also delayed by the Ebola virus.

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