Monday, 29th February 2016 – The Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Henry O. McCauley says the government and people of Sierra Leone will do everything possible to ensure the successful implementation of the CLSG interconnection project.
Ambassador McCauley said energy integration among the countries that constitute the CLSG including Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea remains his country’s top priority. He said with cheap, reliable and affordable electricity, there will be economic boom for the countries.
The Minister reassured the TRANSCO CLSG of Sierra Leone’s unwavering commitment to the project. He challenged the management to make sure the CLSG project happens, so that the citizens who are eagerly waiting can begin to enjoy from it.
Recently, the Minister formally invited the management of TRANSCO CLSG to a technical coordination meeting with his ministry to discuss the domestication of West African Power Pool (WAPP) Electricity Network. The meeting was crucial because it is in line with TRANSCO CLSG strategy of coordination with CLSG countries to enable a harmonized integration of the CLSG line with the national network.
The Sierra Leone Ministry of Energy said it is in the process of developing its National Electricity Grid Master Plan, a process that is now at a critical stage where such a meeting with TRANSCO CLSG and other national stakeholders including EDSA, EGTC, the Regulatory Agency and Bumbuna Project Team was needed to enable it make informed decision.
Mr. Etienne Bailly, Director of the Project Implementation Unit of TRANSCO CLSG and the Engineering Coordinator, Eric Achi represented the company at the meeting. The consultation meeting came at a time when TRANSCO CLSG is concluding bidding activities before awarding contracts to qualified firms for the launch of construction activities of the transmission line and sub stations under the CLSG project.
At the meeting, several crucial issues pertaining to the effective implementation of the CLSG projects were discussed including concerns raised about customs clearing activity in Sierra Leone and other CLSG countries. The meeting agreed that urgent steps must be taken to fix the system to enable contractors clear their equipment and other materials with expediency.
Minister McCauley is expected to convene another meeting shortly with relevant stakeholders including his Ministry, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Foreign Office, Sierra Leone Revenue Authority (SLRA), TRANSCO CLSG, WAPP (West African Power Pool) to further discuss those concerns and address them.
Minister McCauley is credited for spearheading the launch of the much needed component of the Sierra Leone’s Rural Electrification of the CLSG energy network at the African Development Bank in Freetown. At the time, he stressed President Ernest Koromo’s Agenda for Prosperity, noting that the energy sector is still a priority.
He said electricity remains the cornerstone of development in any country as it is just unavoidable in all facets of life. Minister McCauley asked Sierra Leoneans not to politicize electricity which he said is the leading development initiative undertaken by the government. He further appreciated the effort of the African Development Bank, West African Power Pool, ECOWAS and other stakeholders for the CLSG project.
The energy network of the CLSG entails the construction of a 1,303 km transmission line with a double circuit high voltage of 225kV. The network is for four countries – La Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The project brings an added social and economic aspects of electricity supply, and it will help fosters trade development among states.