Press Release

USAID pays courtesy visit to TRANSCO CLSG, offers to help

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ABIDJAN – Wednesday, January 14, 2019: An official delegation from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Tuesday, January 13, 2019 paid a high-level courtesy call on the Management of TRANSCO CLSG in Abidjan, to familiarize itself with the activities of the company and the CLSG interconnection project, and to discuss avenues through which USAID can help to build capacity at TRANSCO CLSG.

The USIAD five-man team headed by Dr. Rockfeler Herusse, Regional Power Africa Representative and Energy Team Leader, met with TRANSCO CLSG General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif and his senior management team, during which the Director of the CLSG Project Implementation Unit, Etienne Bailly presented the CLSG project.

PICTURES:

Dr. Herruse makes a statement

Dr. Herusse and his delegation were impressed by the CLSG project presentation. He agreed that the CLSG project provides a “great opportunity for our program to help you move forward.” The USAID Executive said working with TRANSCO CLSG provides an opportunity for the two entities to draw out an action plan that will offer training opportunities for staff, technical supports for the operation and maintenance, support for integrated financial management system, among other areas that need improvement.

“Your presentation was straight forward,” Dr. Herusse praised the Management of TRANSCO CLSG for the level of works being done so far in the implementation of the CLSG project. “We can also help with Watershed management. Let us know if that is also your area of concern,” Dr. Herusse emphasized.

In response, The TRANSCO CLSG General Manager thanked the USAID delegation for the courtesy call and assured them of further engagements.

 

 

Residents make solemn pledge to protect CLSG project in Liberia

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Abidjan, CI, Thursday, January 9, 2020: Residents of Bunadin District and the adjacent areas in Nimba County have solemnly pledged to work together and protect activities marking the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project, following a high-level mediation effort between them and the EPC contractor, UTE, by the TRANSCO CLSG team in Liberia.

As part of TRANSCO CLSG continual sensitization of its activities for the benefit of the local population, the Country Manager, Jerry T. Taylor and his team visited the project affected communities to provide useful information that dispelled misunderstanding as it relates to the CLSG project activities in the area.

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The meeting resolved some issues that were developing. Some persons affected by the CLSG project (PAPs) of Bunadin District halted the field activities of UTE claiming compensation for loss of crops within the access routes created by the contractor, when the data validation has not yet been finalized for payment.

However, following the meeting with the PAPs, it was agreed that a full assessment of the access routes would be conducted, and determination made for compensation.

The TRANSCO CLSG team also met with the joint security at the border post between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire at Logatuo. It was observed that there was lack of clear understanding of the nature of the CLSG project by some officers at the border post, thereby equipment and materials for project, brought in from Cote d’Ivoire were unduly kept at the customs for weeks and this could pose significant delays in the project implementation.

Most of these issues were discussed, and a way forward was proffered. “I am sure the approach towards the project activities by the folks at the border will be better going forward,” says Jerry Taylor. He also adds: “The meeting with the citizens of Bunadin District, Nimba County was very fruitful and timely. We resolved the issues that prompted the standoff between UTE and the locals.”

The Country Manager was accompanied by King Mohammed Kamara, Social Safeguard Assistant, Mohammed Sow, Engineer and Varney Conneh, Environmental Assistant.

 

CLSG Rural Electrification gets boost in Sierra Leone

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By Ministry of Energy Communication Unit

The Head of the Coordinating Unit of the Rural Electrification Component of the CLSG Project, Dr, Ing. Edmond Dankona Wuseni and team has completed a week long sites visit with consultants on 14th December, 2019.

The component of the La Cote D’ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) project which is going to provide electricity supply for the 39 communities under the CLSG line and being that this service is expected to start in 2021, a team of the Coordination Unit and Consultants for the Transmission and Distribution line (T & D) undertook sites visit to familiarize themselves with the people, authorities and even the topography of various land areas along the project.

The team also visited some substations out of the five in Sierra Loene as these substations will have to feed the communities along the project line. These substations with different companies constructing them in Kenema, Kono, Tonkolili, Kionadugu and Karene districts respectively were visited. Community sensitization and public education on radio station was also done alongside the sites visit. This rural electrification component is part of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) line implemented by TRANSCO Company under the CLSG Project of the four Mano River Union States.

The Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) electricity networks interconnection project involves the construction of a double high voltage (225kv) line to connect the national networks of the four countries. The construction of this line is part of the backbone of the Mano River Union countries and the priority projects of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) master plan.

Kenema power house was also visited by the team and SATCOM consultants. Ing. Musa H. Ngavao led a conducted tour around the facilities in Kenema. Ing. Sheik Ahmed Koroma and Ing. Senesie Fullah who are officials of the project also made meaningful contributions. Mr. Alex Lee of Sieyuan Company led the conducted tour at the Kenema Substation.

 

GM provides project details in speech to Board

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At the 21st Meeting of the Board in Abidjan on Monday, December 16, 2019, the General Manager provided updates on the CLSG project implementation and institutional governing as well as progress made in 2019 amidst challenges.

He outlined plans for the year 2020 and its accompanying budget for the Board’s consideration and approval.

The General Manager also disclosed that the construction works of all substations sites in Liberia and Sierra Leone are far advanced and that testing is currently ongoing on primary equipment before final delivery in early 2020.

Mr. Sherif said the Botota substation, the newest addition to the CLSG project in Liberia, will be completed in December 2020. According to him, the overall progress has increased significantly from 35% at the year-end of 2018 to 65% at the end of November 2019.

For the construction of transmission line, 1,186 towers have been erected and stringing is ongoing along 214 km across the four countries.

See video below:

 

 

Work hard to deliver the project – Board Chairman urges

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The Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRANSCO CLSG, Amidou Traoré is urging the Management of TRANSCO CLSG, donors and other key stakeholders to work assiduously to ensure the CLSG project is delivered on time.

In his closing remarks at the just-ended 21st seating of the Board in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Chairman Traoré said the people of the CLSG countries, particularly Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are yearning for electricity and that the need to fast track the project to deliver the product can not be over-emphasized.

He thanked the General Manager and the team at TRANSCO CLSG for the remarkable job done so far in pushing the project implementation to this level. The Chairman said he is impressed with the level of development in the implementation but urged more effort in making sure the March 2020 schedule of commissioning in Liberia is attained.

The Chairman also thanked the governments of the CLSG countries, the donors and other key stakeholders for their unwavering support towards the successful implementation of the regional project.

“I thank you for your constructive contributions towards the implementation of the CLSG project. People are yearning for the electricity. The TRANSCO CLSG management should work assiduously to ensure the project remains on track,” the Chairman said.

Mr. Amidou TRAORE, is Chief Executive of Société des Énergies de Côte d’Ivoire (CI-ENERGIES), the state-owned company in charge of planning and implementing investment projects in the electricity sector. Over the last 27 years he has fulfilled a number of roles, both at operational level and implementing development projects – including the management of hydroelectric facilities, transport and distribution networks, etc.

 

General Manager outlines goals for 2020

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“Our main priority for the next year is to complete all EPC contracts, commission and energize the transmission line and launch the operations and maintenance phase,” says the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, in a statement delivered at the 21st meeting of the Board of Directors of TRANSCO CLSG.

In particular, the General Manager disclosed that TRANSCO CLSG management will conclude the recruitment of the temporary O & M Contractor (Plan B) by February 2020 for a period of one year. Thereafter, a new operator will be recruited to takeover operations and maintenance for a period of four years.

During the first quarter of 2020, TRANSCO CLSG will organize meetings with the four utilities to conclude, re-negotiate, and sign the PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) and TSAs (Transmission Service Agreements) that were adopted and signed in 2016. These meetings will also finalize the interconnection agreement.

He said the final draft report of the Updated Business Plan will be available in January 2020 for the consideration by Management and Donor partners. The Finance and Administration Committee of the Board has established a Task Force that will assist Management to review the report and finalize the business plan for approval by the Board in March 2020.

With the support of the Board, Management will continue to work closely with government officials and national utilities to outline the revenue generation strategy for TRANSCO CLSG that is aligned with grid expansion to capture industrial and mining loads in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Meanwhile, the General Manager has recognized the significant contributions of the Board in an effort to bring light to the people of the CLSG countries. “You have clearly demonstrated your invaluable support to making sure our path is smoothed and continue to be smoothed. We are also grateful to donors, the governments and the member utilities of the CLSG countries for their partnership and support in pushing the CLSG project forward.”

Mr. Sherif said TRANSCO CLSG remains highly confident that with “your continued support, we will complete the construction of the CLSG interconnection line and begin commercial operations in 2020.”

“Finally, I would like to extend my profound thanks and appreciation to my dynamic team for their hard work, resilience, commitment and passion that have made it possible to achieve the key deliverables during the years on the project implementation and institutional functions. Through their efforts, we have achieved key milestones towards project implementation.”

 

TRANSCO CLSG loses key Board member

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An independent member of the Board of Directors of TRANSCO CLSG has died following a period of protracted illness. Seydina Issa Kane, Chairman of the Audit and Good Governance Committee of TRANSCO CLSG, passed away on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 in Senegal.

The former Director General (DG) of Senelec, and Minister-Advisor to President Macky Sall was responsible for energy issues in his home country. He has since been buried at the Cambérène cemetery.

At the 21st Board of Directors meeting on Monday, December 16, 2019, the Chairman of the Board Mr. Amidou Traore formally announced the sad news. He described their fallen colleague as a strong and dependable member of the Board whose contribution to the successful implementation of the CLSG project will always be remembered and appreciated.

The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif described the fallen Board member as resourceful and someone who always availed himself whenever he was needed.

A moment of silent was observed by Board members in honor of the late Seydina Kane.

 

Govt. to face challenges head-on – Energy Minister

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The Mines and Energy Minister of Liberia, Gesler Murray says government is determined to meeting the challenges within the next five months to ensure the high grid power lines are activated.

He thanked all the donors of the CLSG project during a brief remarks at the two-day Donors’ coordination meeting held in Monrovia, Liberia recently.

“The energy sector remains critical…, it affords so much potential, but we continued to be challenged – we have arrived at the point where we must meet those challenges head-on with imagination and innovative solutions,” the Energy Minister said.

He stressed that the postponement of the CLSG electrification completion “will hurt” Liberia but added that “we must now pick ourselves up” by curbing challenges affecting the energy sector which include removing illegal connections to the current LEC power grid.

The Minister added, “We need to work hard to make sure we have the commercial viable loads identified before we turn on the CLSG’s (line).” He called on the donors to work together to meet the March 2020 deadline.

 

WB Exec. underscores importance of CLSG project

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Mr. Khwima Nthara, the World Bank Country Manager in Liberia has emphasized the importance of the CLSG project to Liberia’s economy and development, adding that when the lines are powered, it will help alleviate the challenges the country faces.

“We are looking forward to the March 2020 target date because this is a project that has been long-awaited by the people of Liberia,” he said.

“We will like to recommit our support to the project going forward and to work with all stakeholders – government, development partners and others involve in making sure this project comes to fruition because the benefits will be immense for Liberia.”

The CLSG project when completed will enable Liberia import power from Ivory Coast and also export to other countries in the sub-region including Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The government will then use it as a means of increasing its revenue generation and at the same time solve the power quagmire, economists have said.

Earlier, the CLSG lines were expected to be turned on by the end of December this year but several challenges including the rainy season have pushed the deadline further.

However, when the lines are on, TRANSCO CLSG will bring in the electricity to the substations while LEC would sell to customers based on a transmission service agreement with TRANSCO CLSG and Power Purchase Agreement with Cote D’Ivoire.

 

 

TRANSCO CLSG, Donors Ascertain Progress of CLSG Electricity Project in Liberia

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Donors of the CLSG electricity project conducting a two-day coordination meeting in Monrovia to review the progress of work on the sub-regional project expected to benefit Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have announced that the commissioning of four of five transmission sub-stations in Liberia will be done in March 2020.

Making the disclosure at the start of the meeting on Monday, December 9, Mr. Mohammed Sheriff, General Manager of Transco CLSG – the multinational company managing the project – said by the end of December this year, four sub-stations will be completed and pre-testing of these stations will commence January 2020.

He clarified that the completion of the fifth station, which is being built in Botota, Bong County, will be delayed because that project was initiated very late. It started after the German Development Bank or KFW agreed to fund its construction.

He, however, emphasized the need for the government to be prepared to take on transmission and distribution of the power to customers when the lines are turn on next year.

“It’s our hope that as soon as we are done, the Liberian government will be able to take it from there,” said Mr. Sherif, who added that it will be “very unfortunate” when the project is completed and the government cannot embark on transmission and distribution.

“There’s one thing to bring the electricity, there’s another thing to get connected to the electricity – if Transco were to come today is the government of Liberia ready? That is the key question we will all be discussing today.”

The meeting was attended by key donor partners of the project including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank or KFW.

Pictorials presented in PowerPoint during the meeting showed the level of work being done on the sub-stations and the transmission lines which will run from the Ivory Coast to Liberia via the five sub-stations.