Press Release

TRANSCO CLSG Brings Jobs to the CLSG Countries

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Thousands of residents in CLSG project affected communities across Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been employed by EPC contractors implementing the project.

According to statistics released by TRANSCO CLSG, about 7695 local people have been employed by the EPC contractors along with few international experts to implement the CLSG interconnection project. Those concerned were recruited between January 2018 to December 2018 when construction activities kicked off.

The types of jobs created are:

  • Jobs of Engineers, Technicians and Doctors;
  • Administrative and Financial Jobs;
  • Drivers jobs;
  • Sawyer jobs,
  • Cleaning technician jobs;
  • Casual jobs for the physical marking of the corridor or substation site;
  • Casual job jobs for manual deforestation with machetes;
  • Guard and Security Service Jobs;
  • Warehouse Jobs;
  • Cook jobs;
  • Welder jobs;
  • Jobs of masons;
  • Carpenters jobs;
  • Gas Station Attendant jobs;
  • Mechanics jobs;
  • Help-topographer’s jobs;
  • Guide Bulldozer Jobs

During the Fourth Quarter of 2018, about 1,608 were recruited across the CLSG countries. The rate of recruitment of local staff will increase as activities continue in 2019. The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif termed the development as incredible milestone.

The General Manager also said creating jobs in the CLSG Countries is part of TRANSCO CLSG’s goal to create an enabling environment that will generate economic activities in order to alleviate poverty on the people.

During a recent tour of project sites, the General Manager met with scores of local people who have been hired by the Contractors to implement the CLSG project. As he enumerated the vast benefits that come with the CLSG interconnection project, Mr. Sherif challenged the workers to take ownership of the project for its successful implementation.

Saying that he was happy to see locals being hired to implement the project, the General Manager challenged them to own the project. He said, even though TRANSCO CLSG is the owner of the transmission line, “it is you who are the owners of the line. You need to know that this line will be passing through your communities and it will benefit your communities economically and socially, etc.”

 

Approved ESMP Construction documents

Please see below the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) approved documents for the CLSG project construction phase. These construction documents have been approved by TRANSCO CLSG and the Donors – World Bank, African Development Bank, European Development and KfW.

The purpose of these documents is to mitigate health, safety and environmental negative impacts during the construction phase of the CLSG interconnection project across the four countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

CLSG Project Construction ESMP Document ANGELIQUE TATA December 2018 ENG (Approved)

CLSG Project ESMP Construction Document Sieyuan Lot 02 Liberia January 2019 ( Approved)

CLSG Project JV EIFFAGE ELECNOR Construction ESMP March 2018 (Approved)

CLSG Project KALPATARU (Lot 4) Construction ESMP Document (Approved)

CLSG Project NCC TL WB-EIB 04-Lot 2 Liberia Construction ESMP May 2018 (Approved)

CLSG Project PGES Chantier ANGELIQUE TATA Decembre 2018 FR (Version Approuvée)

CLSG Project SIEYUAN (Lot 1) Construction Environmental & Social Management Plan CESMP

Projet CLSG BOUYGUES PGES Chantier Version Approuvée Mars 2018

 

Contractors urged to implement CLSG project on time

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The timely implementation of the CLSG interconnection project remains a top priority for the Management of TRANSCO CLSG. Meanwhile, following the two-day high-level Semi-Annual Coordination Meeting with EPC Contractors held in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, the Management of TRANSCO CLSG and the contractors reaffirmed strong commitment to commission the CLSG project across Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea come December 2019.

In closing remarks, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif challenged all EPC contractors to expedite construction works to ensure compliance. He emphasized that the commissioning of the CLSG project has been set for December 2019 and urged contractors that are behind schedule to commit to expedite works to meet the contractual deadlines. No delays to be accepted, he urged.

The bi-annual meeting afforded TRANSCO CLSG and its EPC contractors an opportunity to discuss the progress of their respective contracts, share the challenges encountered in order to find efficient solutions, and discuss all coordination issues between components and/or other projects. The status of the progress of the key activities including the Engineering, Manufacturing & Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), Transportation, Construction and Technical issues top the agenda.

Other points discussed at the meeting financial issues – invoicing and billing procedures, disbursement planning; risks mitigation strategies; and coordination needs between components and/or other projects; and next steps.

The General Manager called on the contractors to make all necessary efforts to speed up the construction works, especially as the rainy season is about to set in few months. Mr. Sherif also informed the meeting about the organizational improvements made in the Owner’s Engineer team, and informed the contractors that the OE will be more present on sites and efficient to expedite review and approval of documents.

The General Manager admonished contractors to remain in the contractual costs, adding that no cost deviation will be accepted. “We are here to solve the problems and move the project faster to ensure timely implementation,” Mr. Sherif said.

He used the meeting remind the EPC contractors to fully abide by the CLSG Countries laws and statutory holidays to avoid issues with local governments. “We also encourage all our contractors to use more local laborers on the project,” Mr. Sherif urged.

Meanwhile, all the EPC contractors including JV ELECNOR/EIFFAGE, NCC, JV SIEYUAN-NEIE, JV ANGELIQUE/TATA, NR ELECTRIC, KEC, KALPATARU and BOUYGUES E&S, reassured the Management of TRANSCO CLSG of their fullest commitment to making sure the CLSG project is delivered on schedule.

The coordination meeting was attended by the Owner’s Engineer, TRACTEBEL. Other senior level executives of TRANSCO CLSG including the Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Josephus Jigba Yilla and Director of Project Implementation Unit, Mr. Ettienne Bailly also attended.

The General Manager and participants congratulated Angelique – TATA for hosting the meeting and TRANSCO CLSG country office for their support. He also expressed sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government and People of Guinea for their support to the CLSG Project.

 

TRANSCO CLSG Team arrives in Conakry for high-level meeting

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The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG is leading a senior-level delegation to the 2-day high-level Bi-annual Coordination Meeting with TRANSCO CLSG’s Owner Engineer, TRACTEBEL and all EPC Contractors in the Guinean capital, Conakry.

The EPC contractors attending the meeting which kicks off Monday, February 18, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel include JV ELECNOR/EIFFAGE, NCC, JV SIEYUAN-NEIE, JV ANGELIQUE/TATA, NR ELECTRIC, KEC, KALPATARU and BOUYGUES E&S.

The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG and other senior level executives have arrived for the meeting.

The status of the progress of the key activities in the implementation of the CLSG project including the Engineering, Manufacturing & Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), Transportation, Construction and Technical issues are top of the agenda. The Financial progress and issues and project activities for the next 6 months will be discussed.

 

TRANSCO CLSG holds high-level meeting with OE, Bouygues

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019: TRANSCO CLSG held high level meeting with EPC Contractor, Bouygues Energies and Services to discuss project implementation issues relating to the commissioning of the transmission line section from Man, Cote d’Ivoire to Yekepa (Liberia) and to N’Zerekore (Guinea) by December 2019.

Prior to the meeting with Bouygues on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, a preparatory meeting was held with the Owner Engineer, TRACTEBEL on Monday, January 28, 2019. All meetings were held at OE’s headquarters in Brussels.

Pictures below, courtesy of Nabi Seshie

Yekepa Substation construction way on course

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YEKEPA, Liberia – The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif on Thursday, January 17, 2019, toured the Yekepa substation construction in Liberia and was impressed with the level of civil works being carried out on site. “I am impressed….” he declared following a guided tour of the site led by EPC contractor, Sieyuan.

The visit was part of the General Manager’s CLSG project site tour that he launched recently across the four beneficiary countries. The visits afforded the General Manager first hand assessment of construction activities in the CLSG project implementation.

See photos below:

Rousing welcome for TRANSCO CLSG General Manager in Guinea

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YALEZOU, Guinea – A large crowd of community leaders including the deputy Superintendent (Sub Prefect), Police and Military commanders, gathered at the Yalezou border checkpoint to welcome the General Manager and delegation to Guinea as the tour of CLSG project sites continued.

Scores of parents, friends and community members patiently waited for the delegation and as the convoy emerged from the vast dust, the Sub Prefect, Youssouf Fofanah and his team lined up to receive the TRANSCO CLSG General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif. “This is very exciting…” the GM said.

The show of support for the CLSG project in Guinea is overwhelming. The community awaits patiently for the coming of the affordable and reliable electricity to their town.

Yalenzou is a town and sub-prefecture in the Nzérékoré Region of Guinea. It is located southeast of Nzérékoré near the border with Liberia. The town of Nzao, the official site of the TRANSCO CLSG substation, lies between Yalenzou and Nzérékoré.

From the border, the TRANSCO CLSG delegation was accompanied to Yalenzou town center where another group of residents awaited to meet the TRANSCO CLSG team. At an indoor meeting, the people of Yalenzou welcomed the General Manager and presented him cola nuts.

They extolled the management of TRANSCO CLSG for the hard work in bringing reliable and affordable electricity to their community and the country at large. “We are in darkness here but we are very happy for the CLSG project coming to our town….” Sub prefect Fofannah said amidst cheers.

The meeting in Yalenzou was a prelude to a much high-profile union with the Superintendent (Prefect) of Nzerekore, Sory Sanoh, who formally welcomed the General Manager and team to his town. He expressed joy for the CLSG project.

“We are not just beneficiaries or actors, this project is ours,” Prefect Sanoh said, adding that there is an urgent need for electricity in his region. According to Prefect Sanoh, Nzerekore is a Prefecture that embraces all sectors of socio-economic activity. “We all know that without energy there can be no development. So, we are with you so that this project is done as quickly as possible.”

Big Lights Coming as TRANSCO CLSG Edges closer to solving Liberia’s power quagmire

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TRANSCO CLSG Edges Closer to Solving Liberia’s Power Quagmire; Transmission Towers and Substations Completion Set for December 2019

Report By: Alpha Daffae Senkpeni / alpha.senkpeni@frontpageafricaonline.com

Buchanan – It’s a sunny Monday afternoon on the outskirt of the port city of Buchanan, Julio Picado shows a group of visitors around a camp yard stockpiled with high-grade materials intended for the construction of high voltage electrical transmission line.

“So, all of these materials here are being used for the erection of the transmission towers,” says Picado, senior foreman of an European engineering joint venture firm, JV EIFFAGE-ELECNOR.

The company is one of many contracted by TRANSCO CLSG to build a high voltage 225Kv transmission line for the transmission of high-grade electricity to Liberia from Côte d’Ivoire, then to Sierra Leone and Guinea. It is a double circuit transmission line with a transit capacity of 486 MW, but equipped with an initial transit capacity of 243MW.

Massive rolls of gigantic conductors, tower materials, insulators and stringing machines – all shipped to Liberia – are spread across the compound.

The gathering of materials and equipment began since August 2017, says Picado. He adds that additional 10 containers of materials were offloaded earlier during the day.

Leading the tour of the camp yard is Mohammed Mulibah Sherif – a man with the keenest view of everything happening in the compound. He’s meticulous and inquisitive: asking critical questions about all the small details and probing further if responses appear ambiguous.

Mr. Sherif is the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG or Transmission Company Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinée. The firm is an ECOWAS regional supranational company with the objective of financing, constructing, owning, operating, maintaining, and developing the Interconnection power line for the region.

As part of the project, a high voltage power line is being built to connect the four countries and increase the efficiency of power supply for economic growth in the region.

Mr. Sherif, a seasoned Liberian Economist, and a project manager had flown in from Abidjan to Monrovia the day before for a major mission: inspect all the works done so far on the line and substations in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.

On an inspection tour with his team of engineers and project experts in Grand Bassa County, he would later rate the progress of work done as “B+”. But outlined that the limited months of the dry season is an issue for underground engineering works for the towers.

“We tried to come up with strategies to sort of expedite the process of approvals for soil investigation and tower investigation and so forth. So, fortunately for us the engineer that is currently supervising the project beef up its team of engineering experts to approve foundation design and foundation testing for the contractors led to improvements in terms of building foundations, erecting towels as you can see,” he explains after inspecting several newly erected towers in Grand Bassa County, which connect the line to Yekepa, Nimba County.

Towers are already going up pretty fast. Eleven had been built by UTE Elecnor/EIFFAGE already while in just 10 days, the other contractor, National Construction Company of India or NCC, has erected three. The former is running the line from Yekepa to Buchanan, while the latter is connecting Buchanan to Mount Coffee and then to Bo Waterside at the Sierra Leone-Liberia boarders.

About 50 miles away from UTE’s camp yard, stands NCC’s camp, which is along the Cotton Tree-Buchanan highway. The compound is also stocked with hundreds of boxes, poles, insulators, rolls of conductors and stringing machines – meant for the construction of the other line.

The line will stretch from Yekepa to Buchanan, covering 230 kilometers with 569 towers and the other, covering 300 kilometers with 573 towers, will run from Buchanan through Margibi County to Mount Coffee and then to Bo Waterside, into Sierra Leone.

“The power will come from Cote d’Ivoire initially – the line is coming from Man to Danane, to Yekepa connecting Buchanan to Mount Coffee to Bo Waterside crossing Sierra Leone into Guinea,” Mr. Sherif explains the geographic of the line.

When completed, it will massively surpass the 88 megawatts capacity of Mount Coffee – Liberia’s main power source – and will produce a voltage capacity of 225 KV volts with a double circuit producing 486 megawatts.

“But initially equipped with a 243 megawatts transit capacity in the first circuit …; you’ll have a double circuit line (and) the first circuit is 243 megawatts. The idea now is we are thinking about concluding the second circuit at the same time concluding the first circuit so [in] total will be 486 megawatts transmission capacity,” Sherif said.

Substation on Track

Meanwhile, a couple of miles outside Buchanan along the highway, several earth-moving machines are seen parked on a 10 acre of land already compacted and neatly landscaped.

Several trenches filled with concrete and steels are visible. Excavation works have been ongoing for the past weeks. Caution signs are erected, restricting the movements of anyone visiting.

This is where one of five substations will be built. The substations are the points where the power running through the lines will be connected across the country, according to the engineers.

Four substations, funded by the German Development Bank or KFW, were earlier approved before the fifth one – to be built in Botota, Bong County – was finalized by the current Government of Liberia and will also be funded by KFW, according to the TRANSCO CLSG boss.

“Initially, we had four: Yekepa, Buchanan, Mount Coffee, and Bo Waterside but then the question came about, what will happen with central Liberia?” said Mr. Sherif, recalling negotiations leading to the approval of the fifth substation.

“Because where you don’t have substation the issue of connection is difficult, you cannot connect to the line. What happens to the people in central Liberia – Lofa, Bong County and so forth? So we decided to work with the previous government to begin the conversation; to get the fifth substation.

“When that conversation began, we got in principle acceptance that yes the fifth substation will come, then came the current government – Samuel Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning with his support – we were able to finalize it and we signed the grant agreement with the KFW – 18 million Euros for the fifth substation.”

Seiyuan, the Chinese engineering firm hired to construct the facilities, is fast-tracking the work to meet up with the timeline. Everything appears to be happening simultaneously.

Just about a mile or two away from the under-construction substation, UTE ELECNOR/EIFFACE and NCC engineers are busy erecting more towels on the two separate sites.

They are confident that beginning December 2019 up to March 2020, the line and substations in Liberia will be completed.

“Our project is based on what we planned and what we are working toward is to have the line and substations commissioned in Liberia beginning December 2019,” explains Mohammed Sow, TRANSCO CLSG engineering and contract specialist.

“In particular, we are expected to do phase commissioning where you’ll have a section that are completed and commissioned. This means, commissioning of substations is expected in July 2019 and September 2019 while commissioning of the line will begin in by December 2019. Our target to complete the entire project in the four countries is first quarter of 2020.”

Synergy Impacting Project 

The cooperation amongst all major players of the energy sector in the country is steering the progress, says Jerry Taylor, Transco CLSG Country Manager for Liberia, who was also inspecting the ongoing civil works.

Mr. Taylor reckons that despite “bureaucracy at some level” all hands are on deck including the governments.

“We meet once a month specifically on the CLSG project to ensure that those little things that hinder are taken care of. If we have a hindrance on the field, if someone is blocking, we find solutions,” he said.

“Everybody is involved in it – the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Labor and if we have to bring people in, like experts, because we have lots of expatriates on the ground who are working within the framework of the project and they come in on gratis, we don’t have any problem with how they get their visas.”

With the support of the government, the project is hitting new heights showing the prospect of easing Liberia’s economic woes, which will be influenced by stable and affordable power.

‘Tremendous’ Economic Prospect

The project is expected to enhance regional power supply and spur economic growth in the four countries, and Mr. Sherif predicts that it will have a “tremendous impact” on Liberia’s economy.

“First, it is an opportunity for rural electrification – we are going to provide that for the rural communities – those that the project will be impacting. When you take it from Buchanan all the way to Yekepa, villages along the way will benefit from the rural electrification component through a technology called the Shield-wire system,” he said.

He says villagers will be able to preserve their farm produce and school-going children will have access to electricity to facilitate their educational activities while health centers in rural Liberia will get connected.

At the same time, macroeconomic growth will expand both in the real sector, thereby impacting revenue generation for the government while there will be a significant cut in production cost for companies in the country.

For example, the TRANSCO CLSG boss predicts that corporations currently paying high tariff per kilowatts/hour will be paying affordable tariff that will increase their profit margins which ultimately spur economic growth and developments

“There will be a significant cut down into your overhead and when that happens your profit jumps up, and when there is corporate profit, the common expectation is that corporate income tax to government will increase and that in itself will spur economic growth and there is this trickle-down impact on the ordinary people,” he said; while also forecasting that employment rate is expected to grow, companies expected to expand and major plants are likely to open in the country given the presence of the affordable and high capacity voltage CLSG electric energy to absorb larger manufacturing firms.

“So, that in itself is a signal to tell the international community that we mean business…, affordable electricity can help us attract foreign direct investment.”

More Power Source

Several experts have already pointed to the high cost of power and how it is impeding Liberia’s economic growth. Others say most foreign firms eyeing the country are wary of the high cost of buying and maintaining generators.

The presence of Mount Coffee’s 88 megawatts is just a drop in the bucket for any major manufacturing plant. And the TRANSCO CLSG boss is cognizant that cheap, stable and reliable power is the engine for any economic growth.

He predicts that small and medium enterprises would grow steadily with the presence of TRANSCO CLSG line and substations.

“For example,” he explains, “In Buchanan, we will have a substation there with 33Kv, and 225 Kv, right there any major company on an industrial scale can open in Buchanan, so right there we can connect anybody. Now, LEC [will have] an opportunity to do more transmission and distribution, that means to do more connection at the household level.”

According to the plan, through the line Liberia Electricity Corporation will have more power for transmission and distribution.

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. This means the amount of power purchased will be transmitted through the substations and LEC will offtake it from the substations and distribute to customers.

“Assuming there’s a factory in Buchanan that wants electricity, they’ll go through LEC and if they want 50 megawatts, LEC will get that amount of megawatts through our line and get it to them,” he said.

“However, the new energy sector regulations in Liberia also provides the opportunity for big companies to go directly and sign Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with any independent producer – that means – they can use our line.

“For example, RIA [Roberts international Airport] or Mittal steel can buy electricity from a private power producer – they will just use our line and bring it directly to their plant, according to the new energy regulations.”

The availability of additional power generation in Liberia would also give Liberia the leverage to sell to other countries in the region, he said. The current studies by the World Bank on the St. Paul Riven Basin (VIA Dam) in Liberia provide such opportunity.

Mr. Sheriff says “regional interconnection is a big project” for the country to lure investors to the region, and there will be “confidence in terms of regional security, economic security, power security (because) power security is economic security – power security is human security, poverty security and that’s why they say we are coming to connect lights to the lives of the people.”

 

CLSG project a winner – says Minister Jusu Saffa

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Freetown, Sierra Leone, January 4, 2019: Stable and secure electricity is an imperative for national governments, both for basic household needs and for industrial progress and overall economic growth, the Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone has said.

Minister Jacob Jusu Saffa told the visiting General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif during a courtesy call on his Freetown office on Thursday, January 3, 2019 that the CLSG interconnection brings enormous optimism to Sierra Leone’s quest to become a powerhouse in the energy sector.

The CLSG project is a winner,” he declared, pointing to the CLSG project line route map during a discussion with the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG. The outspoken Minister of Finance was thrilled following a briefing by the TRANSCO CLSG General Manager on the economic and other benefits associated with the CLSG project.

Minister Saffa said the government of Sierra Leone is making sure major Districts in Sierra Leone are provided electricity, adding that the CLSG transmission line is going to provide that accessibility to link the entire country.

The Minister underscored the importance of electricity as a fundamental input in the modern world. He said the government of Sierra Leone is going to invest more into the sector to ensure the delivery of stable and affordable electricity to the people of Sierra Leone. “Energy security is an increasingly important consideration for us (Sierra Leoneans),” he said.

Minister Saffa said the government will be holding a Roundtable conference on energy in Freetown shortly as he extended an invitation to the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG to attend and present the economics and other social economic benefits of the CLSG project.

Earlier, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Sherif briefed the Minister on the progress of the CLSG project implementation across the four beneficiary countries including Sierra Leone. He also used the occasion to thank the government of Sierra Leone for its unwavering supports to the implementation of the project.

Mr. Sherif emphasized that electricity constitutes the critical infrastructure of any nations including Sierra Leone and that the CLSG project will provide the much-needed relief. He told Minister Saffa that the CLSG project brings along with it a sense of national security and public safety as schools and health centers as well as homes, etc would be connected.

“Electricity is one of the basic needs that governments must provide to its people and we are here to ensure that happens,” the General Manager assured.

Earlier, the General Manager paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Energy, Hon. Kanja Sesay, who also reaffirmed his country’s unwavering commitment to the CLSG project. Minister Sesay disclosed that Sierra Leoneans are eagerly awaiting the coming of the CLSG interconnection line to boost more economic activities across the country. He said his ministry along with other key government entities will work relentlessly to ensuring that the CLSG project is implemented unimpeded.