Conakry, Guinea, February 28, 2018: TRANSCO CLSG has taken another major step in accelerating the interconnection project when it officially turned over the Linsan substation project site in Guinea to its partner company, OMVG (Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du fleuve Gambie).
Officials from TRANSCO CLSG, OMVG, the Government of Guinea, Donors and other relevant stakeholders gathered for the milestone ceremony characterized by applauds and statements that were assuring. The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, the OMVG High Commission, El Hadj Lansana Fofana, among other speakers promised better days for the residents of Linsan, especially when the CLSG project comes alive in 2019.
The event was organized by TRANSCO CLSG, under the auspices of the Government of Guinea.
In an official statement, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG explained his company officially turned over the project site to the OMVG, based on the decision of the Guinean government which was represented by its Minister of Energy on April 14th, 2017. He said TRANSCO CLSG and OMVG are collaborating partners in the implementation of the Linsan substation project.
Mr. Sherif said TRANSCO CLSG will compensate project affected people in the project area, while OMVG will be responsible to build the substation. “The construction of the transmission line and the substation in Linsan is going to yield positive impact on the well-being of the population,” the General Manager said after he presented a symbolic check of 780 million GNF to the people of Linsan for the implementation of the public infrastructure.
The General Manager disclosed that the citizens of Linsan have opened a local bank account in Kindia with two signatories. He said the fund has already been transferred into that account. Mr. Sherif urged the beneficiaries to make sure the fund is used for development purposes, as earmarked by the citizens.
The Linsan citizens proudly presented to the General Manager the official deed of the land that will be used for the construction of the substation. “We will protect this project,” they declared amidst applause.
Like the CLSG project, the development objective of the OMVG is to enable electricity trade between the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Senegal. The project also forms part of the West African power pool (WAPP) transmission network expansion.
“This is a great day for us, and it’s a great day for our sub region,” said Mr. Sherif. He assured the citizens of the CLSG countries that come what may, “we are at a point of no-return in the implementation of the CLSG project.”
The General Manager said the CLSG project has a rural electrification component in which villages along the transmission line stand to benefit from the electricity through a shield wire system. In the Republic of Guinea, 33 villages have been identified and are going to be beneficiaries of the rural electrification in the prefectures of Kindia, Forecariah and N’zerekore. This component is being financed by the AFDB. “The rural electrification component is very important for our citizens especially those residing in the rural areas, because it contributes directly to their social and economic development.”
The General Manager said in order to accelerate the physical implementation of the CLSG project, TRANSCO CLSG has started compensating project affected people (PAPs) that are within the corridors of the transmission line and substations in the four countries. Recently, TRANSCO CLSG launched the resettlement process in Sierra Leone where PAPs were compensated for their farmlands and other properties.
Mr. Sherif thanked the government and people of Guinea for the warmth hospitality and their supports in making the turn over ceremony a success. He also thanked ensuring the milestone ceremony. “We want to thank our Board of Directors, our donors as well as the governments of the CLSG countries for taking us this far. We stand here feeling elated to announce that the project has made a highly appreciable progress. We are a point of no return in the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project.”
A great day for Guinea
“This is an important day for us as we continue to be a part of leading toward the future of energy,” said Madame Assatou Baldé, Ministre de l’environnement, des eaux et forêts (Minister of Environment, Water and Forest) of the Republic of Guinea, who chaired the ceremony.
She praised the management of TRANSCO CLSG and OMVG for collaborating and leading on the energy campaign that will benefit millions of citizens in the four beneficiary countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“To do something this large, it takes a lot of commitment — it takes a shared vision by a lot of different people. It took a lot of hard work to get all of this done, and everyone pulled together to get to get it done. I thank you,” Madame Balde said.