Press Release

TRANSCO CLSG Celebrates Women’s Day, Reaffirms Support for Gender Equality

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March 8th each year marks the International Women’s Day. The event has marked the plight and achievements of women for more than a century – but is now looking ahead another 15 years to the world’s gender equality goals. The theme for this year celebration is “Planet 50-50 by 2030” and the United Nations-backed event will be celebrating women’s rights worldwide.

TRANSCO CLSG, a regional transmission company joins the world to celebrate this very important day, reaffirming its support to Gender equality. On today, March 8th, the management of TRANSCO CLSG held a celebratory program for all its women employees at the company’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The event was characterized by cheers, sharing of food and brief remarks from senior management including the Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Jigba Yilla who extoled the women for hard work and dedication to running the day-to-day activities of the company. The Director of the Project Implementation Unit, Mr. Etienne Baily also praised the women and said TRANSCO CLSG would not have achieved the milestones without the involvement of its female staff.

Madam Marie Chantel Niambi, Social Safeguard Specialist spoke on behalf of the women. She recognized the stance of management in recognition of gender equality. She challenged her colleagues to work hard and make sure their efforts yield the much needed results for the company, which is deliver the cheap, affordable and reliable electricity to the people of the CLSG – Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Energy Minister Reaffirms Salone Full Support To CLSG Project

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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.

TRANSCO CLSG to participate in crucial energy meeting in Salone

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In a formal invitation letter addressed to the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, the Ministry of Energy of Sierra Leone is requesting a technical coordination meeting with the regional transmission company to discuss the domestication of West African Power Pool (WAPP) Electricity Network.

Mr. Etienne Baily, Director of the Project Implementation Unit of TRANSCO CLSG and the Engineering Coordinator, Eric Achi will represent the company at the meeting. The team departs this weekend to Freetown, Sierra Leone where the technical meeting will convened.

The consultation meeting comes few months to the official launch of construction activities of the transmission line and sub stations under the CLSG project.

The meeting is also crucial because 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 Ministry of Energy in Sierra Leone says it is in the process of developing a National Electricity Grid Master Plan, a process that is now at a critical stage where such a meeting with TRANSCO CLSG and other stakeholders is needed to enable it make informed decision.

The CLSG project, on course for effectiveness

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Abidjan – The interconnection energy project within the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) framework has taken important steps toward its effectiveness during the past weeks. The sub-regional interconnection project referred to as CLSG project, or the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea project, remains on course for implementation.

TRANSCO CLSG, a special Purpose Company (SPC), has been established by the four countries and is responsible for the financing, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of the interconnection CLSG Project.

TRANSCO CLSG recently organized a four-day meeting at the Palm Club Hotel in Abidjan from the 9th to 12th of December 2014 to discuss a commercial framework of the CLSG Project. Finalization of this framework is one of the conditions precedent to the effectiveness of the CLSG Project.  Legal and power trading experts attended the meeting from the various power utilities of the CLSG countries including Cote d’ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The delegates discussed and negotiated the adoption and endorsement of the commercial Termsheets for power purchase (PPAs) and transmission service agreements (TSAs). Following the four-day of deliberations, the stakeholders worked on the finalization of these termsheets and unanimously endorsed them.

In his welcome remarks, the General Manager (GM) of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif who chaired the meeting challenged the stakeholders to work hard in guaranteeing the seamless operation of the invaluable energy project by endorsing these termsheets. The GM noted that signing the PPAs and TSAs are conditions precedent to first disbursement of funds and as such due diligence must be taken to conclude the necessary discussions leading to negotiations and execution of the PPAs and TSAs.

Mr. James Schmidt, the independent Consultant, who supported the preparation of the project commercial framework participated in the meeting. His presentations on an Overview of the Terms of the Transmission Service and the Power Purchase Agreements were discussed and agreed upon by all delegates.

The presentation on the TSAs underlined issues on coordination of transmission service with delivery of energy under the PPAs, commercial responsibility for electricity losses- under different operating scenarios, metering, billing and payment guarantees among others. The meeting reaffirmed that the initial Term of the Power Purchase Agreement will be 10 years from Commercial Operation Date of TRANSCO CLSG’s transmission system.

TRANSCO CLSG’s GM Mohammed M. Sherif, thanked the delegates and acknowledged the signing of the termsheets has pumped fresh synergy into the interconnection project. “I have the passion and commitment to succeed…,” he emphasized and called for solid stakeholders’ support to keep the CLSG project on track for success. In return, delegates assured the GM of their unwavering supports and commitment to move the project forward.

The delegates also registered their appreciation to  TRANSCO CLSG for organizing the consultation meeting which showed high commitment in fast tracking of the project preparation to facilitate the expedient implementation of the CLSG Interconnection Project. They expressed their profound gratitude to the People and Government of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, particularly to His Excellency, Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic, for the warm hospitality enjoyed by participants during their stay in Abidjan.

Meanwhile, Cote d’Ivoire (CI) Energies has reaffirmed the country’s commitment to making available 83 MW on the CLSG Interconnection Line. Each country will take 1/3 of this amount.

CLSG Headquarters Agreement

In a related development, the TRANSCO CLSG headquarters (HQ) agreement has been signed with the Government of Cote d’Ivoire on December 3, 2014. The agreement was signed by Mr. Amadou Diallo, Secretary General of WAPP on behalf of TRANSCO CLSG and Mr. Charles Koffi Diby, Minister of Foreign Affairs signed for the Government of Cote d’Ivoire.

The TRANSCO CLSG GM said the HQ agreement signature is another ground-breaking moment for the energy project. The agreement seals the supranational energy company’s presence in Abidjan.

Gearing Up For Project Implementation, GM Pleads with Donors

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The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, is one of the newest leading voices for sustainable and affordable energy for millions of citizens in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, countries that are beneficiaries of the multi-donor funded CLSG interconnection project.

Previously the Chief Economist of Liberia, Mr. Sherif says the delivery of affordable and reliable electricity to the people of these countries that constitute the CLSG remains a passion driven by his commitment to effectively lead the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project.

Providing updates on the current status of the CLSG project activities to donors at the opening of the two-day Donors’ Technical Coordination meeting in Abidjan, Monday, June 2, 2016, Mr. Sherif said the CLSG project is on the right trajectory. He remains optimistic that the project’s objectives would be achieved.

Adds the General Manager: “Management is doing everything to push this project forward,” he assured the donors which include World Bank (WB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the German Development Bank (KfW). Also present are representatives of the Owner’s engineer, LAHMEYER.

The meeting is discussing key issues including the status of the CLSG project – technical, procurement, environmental and social aspects; and coordination with regional projects, project development plant, rural electrification component, the Power Purchase and Transmission Purchase agreements, the ESMP and RAP, among others.

According to Mr. Sherif, expectations are very high in the respective CLSG countries. He disclosed the governments of the CLSG countries through their respective Ministries of Energy are under pressure to deliver to their citizens. Mr. Sherif also acknowledged there are challenges, but that enormous progress has been made in the project implementation.

The General Manager lauded the donors for their continuous and unflinching supports towards the development of Africa, the West African Power Pool (WAPP) activities and to the CLSG project in particular. He also called on them to help expedite activities that will move the CLSG project forward. “I want to admonish all of us to agree on a way forward, on how we can expedite the process without necessarily compromising any fiduciary responsibility.”

Mr. Sherif informed the donors that the report of the evaluation process for the Transmission line package financed by the World Bank and the EIB, which started on April 28 as planned, is being finalized. On the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), he disclosed that based on the updated line routing, the compensation strategy has been revised. “This will be a discussion point during this meeting.”

In his update on the project, Mr. Sherif informed the donors that local Committees and sensitization and awareness campaign have been launched in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in May 2016. On the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA), he said TRANSCO CLSG Management team have held meetings with CLSG countries in order to conclude the negotiations on the draft bi-lateral agreements.

“The countries subject to the negotiations of the final price, volume and guarantees for power purchase and transmission service, adopted the draft bi-lateral agreements for signature by the National Utilities,” Mr. Sherif said, adding that the agreements have been shared with donors. He said the conclusion of the PPA and TSA is the only outstanding condition to be fulfilled as they are disbursement conditions for the donors.

LIBERIA WILL NOT HINDER CLSG PROJECT…Min. Russ

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The Chairperson of the National Monitoring Committee for the implementation of the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) of the CLSG project in Liberia says government is on par with the project and will not encumber its implementation.

In his opening remarks at the regular session of the National Monitoring Committee Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Mr. Sam Russ, reaffirmed Liberia’s unwavering supports to the CLSG project, adding that a Treaty signed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be adhered to.

Mr. Russ, who is also the Deputy Minister of Lands, Mine and Energy said the CLSG is a transnational project that requires synchronization with other countries. Therefore, Liberia cannot be seen as a delay for no other reason. He called on members of the committee to work as a team, adding, “We should make sure we mitigate all the possibilities of frustration or attempt to delay or frustrate the schedule that would be set.”

The Minister emphasized that Liberia should not be seen as the one holding the CLSG project back. “We are going to make sure we are doing the right thing to move the project forward,” he assured. He said the government of Liberia is on course with the CLSG project as it has attached priority to all of its programs to be implemented. “The EMSP and RAP issues are extremely important for us because it will foster our development program.”

Mr. Russ urged that careful attention must be paid to the implementation of the ESMP and RAP activities, because there are some significant risks, if not implemented properly. According to him, TRANSCO CLSG also attaches importance to the CLSG interconnection project’s priority programs to make sure they are addressed appropriately, adding, “this is a recognition of how important it is to the major infrastructure program.”

On the set up of local committees, the Minister urged the National Monitoring Committee to target the right group of people and not just government authorities, but non-government authorities including youth, women, community leaders, among others, making sure they are fully aware of the project, understating and mitigating all of the possibilities of other interests that will frustrate the objective of the project.

“This is extremely important,” he declared.

The regular session concludes Wednesday, May 25, 2016 and the TRANSCO CLSG team along with the NMC will travel to Buchanan to launch the local committtee and sensitization activities on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

Energy Minister Reaffirms Country’s Support for CLSG Project

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General Manager Sherif briefs Minister Toungara during a courtesy call Tuesday, May 31, 2016 – Photo: Sidiki Trawally

Hon. Adama Toungara, Cote d’Ivoire Minister of Petroleum and Energy has reaffirmed Cote d’Ivoire’s unyielding support to the successful implementation of the CLSG interconnection project in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea respectively.

In welcoming the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG Mohammed Sherif and team at his downtown Plateau office during a courtesy call on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, Minister Toungara said he is deeply impressed by the level of operations at TRANSCO CLSG. He said the government of Cote d’Ivoire will do everything possible to ensure the successful outcome of the project.

The Ivorian energy boss also added that he will do his utmost best on a personal basis to make sure this project work for the people. He said the CLSG project will bring enormous benefits to the countries that constitute the CLSG in terms of helping to drive wider economic growth through robust power supplies that will be stable and affordable for all.

Minister Toungara told the TRANSCO CLSG delegation which included the Director of Finance and Administration, Jigba Yilla and the General Manager’s Executive Secretary, Nabi Seshie, that he was pleased when he learned that a delegation from TRANSCO CLSG was paying him a visit. The Chairman of the Board of Director of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Amidou Traore attended the meeting.

“Mr. Traore told me you were paying a courtesy call and I was glad. The project is a very important project for this part of our region,” the Minister said. According to him, President Alhassane Ouattara always discussed with him the significance of the CLSG project and the need to make it work successfully.

He adds: “President Ouattara is making sure that the project works. The president is very passionate about it. He even mentioned the project to me today again… that shows how committed he is to this project.”

The ground breaking ceremony for the CLSG project is expected to be held in Man sometime this year. But before then, Minister Toungara has promised to pay a visit to the new TRANSCO CLSG headquarters in Abidjan. “I will come and visit your office,” he assured. He asked the Board Chairman Traore, who is also the head of the national utility, CI Energies (Cote d’Ivoire Energies) to arrange his visit to the TRANSCO CLSG headquarters.

Earlier, the visiting TRANSCO CLSG General Manager Sherif briefed the Energy Minister on the current status of the CLSG project. He assured Minister Toungara that the CLSG interconnection project is way on course and the company will soon begin awarding of contracts qualified contractors to begin the construction phase of the project.

Mr. Sherif said the CLSG interconnection project will definitely give people access to quality energy at a lower cost. He thanked the Energy Minister for his support towards the milestones so far achieved by the project. He said the company will work hard to make the implementation of the project a smooth process.

The Ivorian electricity grid is recognized as best in class in Africa. The Country looks to increase its installed generation capacity to 4000 MW by 2020 and the country’s ambition to develop its position as the energy hub of West Africa is on track.