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USTDA GRANT PROMOTES ENERGY INFRASTUCTURE DEVELOPMENT IN MALI

BAMAKO, MALI (September 25, 2008) – Developing Mali's alternative energy resources to fuel the country's economic growth is the goal of a USTDA grant awarded to the Government of Mali, acting through the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water (MINEW). The $371,000 grant will fund an assessment of the viability of constructing, financing, and operating a 25 megawatt waste-to-energy (WTE) power plant, as well as operating an upgraded waste management system designed to assure sufficient feedstock to the plant.

USTDA Deputy Director Leocadia I. Zak signed the agreement that conferred the grant on behalf of the U.S. Government. National Director of Energy Sinalou Diawara signed the grant agreement for the Government of Mali.

Mali is experiencing a severe power shortage due to increased demand, drought, and a lack of investment. In order to help meet the country's need for electricity, the Government of Mali has sought and received World Bank support, and independently solicited assistance from international energy consultants. As part of this effort, VICA Technologies of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, proposed the construction of a WTE power plant, which in addition to providing necessary electricity, would also respond to critical waste management problems in Bamako.

The Government of Mali has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with VICA Technologies to perform the required project analysis. In addition to the USTDA grant, VICA Technologies will contribute additional resources toward the study's cost.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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