Press Release

EU to Expand Electricity in Buchanan, South-east Using TRANSCO CLSG substation

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Culled from FrontpageAfricaonline.com

MONROVIA – A team from the European Union on Tuesday inspected the TRANSCO CLSG substation in Grand Bassa County which it intends to use to feed a distribution network for the supply of electricity to Buchanan city and other southeastern cities.

Speaking to FrontPageAfrica in Buchanan, the head of cooperation at the European Union in Liberia, Theododorus Kaspers, said “The agreement is signed for a total of US$42 million and it is supposed to bring electricity to a number of cities in the Southeast – Buchanan, Barclayville and Greenville in particular and in principle extend electricity to cities which are already being which are already being served from the lines across the border – Cote d’Ivoire.”

He said cities like Harper in Maryland County, Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, Tappita in Nimba County would all benefit from the distribution network.

He said though the original plan to get private sector involvement in the distribution may not be feasible, the EU would still go ahead with the distribution in Buchanan, Barclayville and Greenville while finding means to get the private sector involved.

“It is important for us in support of the energy sector to engage with the private sector. In all countries in the world, you see a transformation from government-run entities to private sector; so, we need to find ways to attract the private sector in those cities to operate,” he said.

About 11,000 households are expected to benefit from the programme in Buchanan City.

Also speaking to FrontPageAfrica, the country manager for Transco CLSG in Liberia, Jerry Taylor, said the Buchanan substation is one of five substations built by TRANSCO CLSG project for the supply of power from Cote d’Ivoire to all parts of Liberia.

“The EU called us that there is funding for not only the backbone but also for the distribution of electricity for the city of Buchanan and this is where we come in because we are responsible for the substation in Buchanan,” he said.

He said the substation would be energized in April this year.

South-eastern Liberia has been on the margin of development, especially when it comes to road connectivity and electricity which are considered as the some of the main drivers of development. The objective of the EU programme, according to the agreement, is to stimulate socio-economic development and thereby improve the living conditions of the rural population, prioritizing the South-East of Liberia. It aims to achieve this objective by increasing access to reliable and affordable renewable-energy-based electricity. The programme attempts to catalyze private sector investment in the development of electricity mini-grids.

The main outcomes of the action will be that electricity is widely available and used by people in the selected main settlements of the South-East of Liberia for productive, commercial and residential purposes as well as for the delivery of basic services (as health and education) and that the licensees or commercial operators active in the targeted areas are operating in a gender sensitive way according to their contracts, following best practice and are set on a growth trajectory.

The programme provides technical assistance and applies two support modalities for private sector investments in and operation of mini-grids.

A gender analysis, undertaken by external consultants during the period November 2017 – March 2018, has concluded that the social dimensions of energy provision need to be addressed in order to reach the overall objective of contributing to poverty reduction. To achieve this, the approach under this action will be two-fold: i) implementation of a number of gender sensitive measures, including but not limited to ensuring quotas for women in employment opportunities and inclusion of women in project structures, and ii) development of a gender component which will prepare women, primarily through training and economic empowerment activities, to fully capitalize on the energy to be provided. The gender component will be implemented under a Service contract. Any investment in skills training will closely complement EU existing efforts under the 11th EDF TVET programme.

There will also be gender sensitive training and capacity building to ensure that the arrival of electricity translates into poverty reduction and improved wellbeing of women, men, girls and boys living in the targeted areas. The TORs for tendering these services are available.

Women in Liberia continue to miss out on opportunities and lack participation in management and decision-making positions at all levels of the society. Despite overall having almost an equal share of the labour force, they are very under-represented in terms of paid employment as women hold only 24% of paid jobs and earn less than 70% of men. Women are more likely to be vulnerably employed in the informal sector and agriculture and they make up 60% of the workforce in rural areas in Liberia. The prevalence of women in the low skilled labour informal economy is associated in part with low literacy levels: women and girls continue to have limited access to education (33% of women are literate compared to 62% of men). Child marriage and violence against women, including female genital mutilation, remain of serious concern.

The programme will also help to reduce these barriers by providing Affordable and Clean Energy to as many final beneficiaries as possible. For example, the availability of light in public places at night reduces the incidence of Sexual and Gender based Violence (SGBV). The availability of light at home has been proven to improve the educational achievements of girls, who are traditionally expected to carry out domestic chores during daylight hours. Moreover, training and employment opportunities under the umbrella of the energy programme will provide women with access to economic empowerment and will strengthen women’s voice and agency in the selected communities.

 

 

Impressive! President Weah asserts following substation tour

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LIBERIA: President George M. Weah visited the Yekepa substation in Nimba County, during his nationwide tour on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. The high-level visit for the first time by the Liberian President serves as a major milestone in the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project, as TRANSCO CLSG pushes towards energizing and commissioning the transmission line from Cote d’Ivoire to Liberia through the Yekepa substation, which is the entry point for the 225kV high-power electricity.

“This is impressive!” President Weah excitedly said following the tour of the facility. He was guided on tour by TRANSCO CLSG’s Country Manager, Jerry Taylor.  The visit was a resounding success as it afforded President Weah the opportunity to see for himself the level of progress that has been made to bring reliable and affordable electricity to Liberia.

PICTURES

President Weah was received upon arrival at the TRANSCO CLSG facility by the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Gesler E. Murray, who underscored the significance of the CLSG energy project for the Liberian people and the Mano River Sub-region at large. He said the transmission line, when energized will immensely benefit the people in terms of reliability and affordably of the power.

Minister Murray applauded the President and the Government for prioritizing energy for the Liberian people within the national development agenda. He said the actualization of the CLSG project is the manifestation of the President’s commitment to ensuring that the age-old power deficit, especially during the dry season will come to an end.

The Liberian Energy Minister stressed that the power will not only be reliable, but also affordable as the tariff is expected to shift downward and will deepen socioeconomic activities of the people and improve their lives significantly.

For his part, the Country Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, assured the President that the CLSG power will be available in Liberia, up to Mt. Coffee before the end of March 2021. However, he cautioned that the CLSG transmission network with five 225 kV substations in Liberia will only be useful to the Liberian people when national network is built to reach the power to the eagerly awaiting population.

Taylor disclosed that the CLSG project has a rural electrification component that will allow power reach directly to the rural population. He said about 126 towns and villages along the line corridor in Liberia will be electrified through the Shield Wire System.

President Weah expressed delight at the level of progress already made in the project implementation. He emphasized that the electricity would help improve the quality of life of Liberians and the sub-region, and that it is healthy for regional cooperation.

The President was accompanied by the Ministers of Finance for Development Planning, Information, Cultural and Tourism, State for Presidential Affairs, Internal Affairs, among others.

The CLSG project is financed by four donors, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank (KfW), with counterpart funding from the governments of the CLSG countries. The CLSG project now stands at 99% completion rate in Liberia and 90% overall completion.

 

TRANSCO CLSG Convenes crucial meeting with contractors

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A senior level team headed by the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG comes to Monrovia, Liberia to spearhead a pivotal meeting with all EPC contractors implementing the electricity project in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The bi-annual meeting is within the framework of the implementation of the CLSG project as TRANSCO CLSG prepares to commission and energize the first section of the CLSG network in February 2021 from Man in Cote d’Ivoire to Mount Coffee in Liberia.

Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif and his team of engineers and administrators will take stock of the progress of the CLSG interconnection project and will take actions to address all pending issues or challenges related to the timely completion and commissioning of the CLSG network.

The three-day high-level meeting which starts on Tuesday, January 26th will conclude Thursday, January 28th, will highlight project related issues including the status and the roadmap of remaining works and tests before commissioning, updated project schedule including energization schedule, coordination of all interfaces between contractors, roadmap for the finalization of the O&M (Operation and Maintenance) manuals, coordination of outage with National Utilities and the delivery of completion of Certificates contractors.

The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG is urging the EPC contractors to ensure the CLSG project is completed on time so that stable and affordable electricity is delivered to millions of people in the sub region, particularly the beneficiary countries in the Mano River Basin.

Mr. Sherif festooned the governments and people of the CLSG countries, the donors and other key stakeholders who have worked assiduously over the years to move this important project forward to completion. “We are excited to see this project coming to commissioning. We promised to deliver, and we are on course to connect light to the lives of our people,” an elated Mr. Sherif said.

 

CLSG Project puts smiles on many faces

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The CLSG Project is an important interconnection project linking Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It’s going to provide life-changing moments for millions of people in the Mano River Basin, when the stable and affordable electricity arrives.

TRANSCO CLSG has announced a plan to start commissioning of the transmission line in February 2021, this has put smiles on many faces.

Final construction activities are ongoing in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea; thus, the long-awaited electricity is about to be realized. That also brings joy to the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, the Donors and the governments of the CLSG countries, who have worked tirelessly to ensure the project becomes a reality.

 

Positions of Internal Audit and Assistant Audit Officers

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TRANSCO CLSG Seeks Individual Consultants for the positions of Internal Audit Officer and Assistant Internal Auditor

The Officers will collaborate to ensure compliance with TRANSCO CLSG’s processes and procedures, Rules and Regulations and provide assurance of the reliability and integrity of information provided to stakeholders, reinforce internal controls as well as serve as TRANSCO CLSG’s point of contact for external parties on audit related issues.  The duration of the assignment is for a period of 12 Months renewable after a satisfactory evaluation of his/her performance. SEE DOCUMENTS BELOW:

REOI_ASSISTANT INTERNAL AUDITOR_

REOI_INTERNAL AUDITOR

 

Army give TRANSCO CLSG GM rousing welcome in Nzerekore

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Scores of Guinean military personnel assigned along the route from Cote d’Ivoire to Nzerekore, Guinea gave TRANSCO CLSG General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif and entourage a rousing welcome during his visit to the area to inspect construction activities at the Nzerekore substation.

Mr. Sherif and his team were on their way to Nzerekore to inspect the substation on Friday, January 8, 2021 when a group of military personnel who were earlier notified of the team’s visit gathered along the route to receive the TRANSCO CLSG boss. There is intensive civil work acitivties taking place at the substation, which has excited the population in the region.

The officers led by their commander expressed their gratitude to the leadership of TRANSCO CLSG and all key stakeholders in making the CLSG interconnection a reality. They encouraged Mr. Sherif to continue the development of the CLSG line that will bring stable electricity to their region.

“We have been in darkness for a long time. When we saw you constructing the substation in our city, we became very happy. We want to thank you for making this possible,” the military commander said.

In response, Mr. Sherif assured the army and the entire population in Nzerekore and other cities in the region that TRANSCO CLSG will do every thing possible to bring light to the city. “We are aware of of the struggle you are going through. The light will come and you will be more excited because it would be affordable.”

 

Nzerekore substation making strong progress

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Intensive civil works are ongoing at the Nzerekore substation and according to the engineers on site, the substation will be ready by June 2021 and that electricity could come as early as September 2021.

“This is good news for the forest population,” the Governor of Nzerekore, General Mohamed Ghare said when he inspected the site along with the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif on Friday, January 8, 2021.

The tour was led by the TRANSCO CLSG boss and with the site engineers, TRANSCO CLSG team and local authorities including the governor and prefect of N’Zérékoré.

The representative of TRACTEBEL, the consulting engineer, Ibrahima Kalil Touré explained that everything is being done to ensure the substation is completed in June 2021. He said all physical works will be concluded and that pre-commissioning will be begin thereafter.

He assured the TRANSCO CLSG GM that from August or later in September, the substation will be ready to deliver the power to the population. According to him, the necessary processes are being implemented to ensure the substation is fully ready to serve the people, adding, “To date, all materials are on site. All that remains is to mount them.”

 

CLSG project building hope for thousands in Nzerekore

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A population of more than 400,000 people is eager to receive stable and affordable electricity in Guinea’s second largest city, Nzérékoré, the Governor of Nzerekore has disclosed.

General Mohamed Ghare told the visiting General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, who paid a courtesy call on his office Friday, January 8, 2021, that Nzerekore, being a commercial center in the southeast of the country can’t afford to remain in darkness or continue to struggle for power supply over the years.

The top Guinean official said the advent of the CLSG interconnection project to his region is a remarkable gift from the Almighty. “We are excited and eager to see lights in our streets and homes, hospitals and schools,” the Governor said.

Governor Ghare hailed ECOWAS for launching the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea interconnection project that will boost economic activities in the Mano River basin. “No development is achieved without the presence of reliable electricity, so the CLSG project will provide us the opportunity to development our country and boost serious economic activities here.”

The Guinean official furthered that the CLSG energy project will be affordable and will light up several households as well as neighborhoods including schools and hospitals to the delight of thousands of residents who are waiting patiently. He added that the CLSG project is building confidence in the business communities across the region.

The Government, accompanied by the Prefet of Nzerekore joined the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG on tour of the Nzerekore substation where intensive civil works and other construction activities are ongoing.

Board Chair, GM recognize CLSG project stakeholders

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The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG hails the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors for their invaluable support and leadership in making the delivery of the reliable and sustainable electricity to the people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, a reality.

In his closing remarks at the 23rd Board meeting on Monday, December 8, 2020, Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif also recognized the unwavering supports of the donors including the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and KfW and the governments and people of the CLSG countries. “We are grateful,” Sherif lauded.

Also recognizing the diligence of his TRANSCO CLSG team, Mr, Sherif extended his profound thanks and appreciation for their hard work, resilience, commitment, and passion that have made it possible to achieve the key deliverables over the years on the project implementation and institutional functions. He’s very optimistic that the project would be delivered shortly. “I know I can always count on you,” he stressed.

In another development, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Amidou Traore has reaffirmed the Board’s continuous commitment to the CLSG project. “The Board is fully with the TRANSCO CLSG management,” he reassured.

Mr. Traore said despite the challenges in the project implementation, he is hopeful that during the first quarters of 2021, everything will be set as TRANSCO CLSG commissions the line. “Let’s keep on working together to get all the necessary means in place to deliver this project,” he urged TRANSCO CLSG and all key stakeholders.

He praised the Management of TRANSCO CLSG for achieving key milestones that have pushed the project forward. He credited the astute leadership of Mr. Sherif and his team for the progress. “The intervention of the General Manager and his team got us to where we are today. The people have been waiting for years so we are going to make sure the CLSG project moves towards commissioning soon.”

Mr. Traore also commended the donors and CLSG countries for their unwavering efforts in making the CLSG project a reality.

GM Sherif outlines top priorities for 2021

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TRANSCO CLSG’s top priority in 2021 is to energize the CLSG interconnection line, begin commercial operations in February 2021, and deliver electricity to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea during the year, the General Manager has disclosed.

Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif explained that significant progress has been made in the negotiations of the revised Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and the Transmission Service Agreements (TSAs) with CLSG member countries and is confident that they will be endorsed and signed before the end of January 2021. “Given our target to begin commercial operations in February 2021, Management solicit the support of members of the Board, utilities and CLSG countries to ensure that this tight deadline is achieved.”

In his report to the Board of Directors on Monday, December 8, 2020, Mr. Sherif said TRANSCO CLSG has signed the contract for the temporary (Operations and Maintenance (O&M) operator with the CIE, an Ivorian Electricity Company (COMPAGNIE IVOIRIENNE D’ELECTRICITE), covering the transmission line section from Man to Monrovia while the tender process to recruit the permanent O&M operator is on course.

He said the contract became effective on November 10, 2020 (signed on October 7, 2020) and that the O&M personnel will be deployed by December 15, 2020 as arranged with the management following a joint assessment of the works on the fields.

“We are currently negotiating with CIE to extend their scope to cover the line section from Monrovia to Bumbuna in Sierra Leone. This will enable Management of TRANSCO CLSG to estimate load flows based upon firm commitments, complete the update of the Business Plan and Financial Model, and submit the final report to the Board for approval in March 2021.”

Mr. Sherif furthered that TRANSCO CLSG has plan to conclude negotiations with CIE to extend their assignment to include the section from Monrovia to Bumbuna by end of December 2020 and recruit the permanent O & M (Operations and Maintenance) operator by June 2021.

He said with the support of the Board, Management will also continue to engage the governments of the CLSG countries and donors to mobilize the additional funds required to fill the gap for 2021-2023.