Press Release

Minister urges TRANSCO’s Sustainability, Independence

Sierra Leone’s Energy Minister Participates in High-Level CLSG Steering Committee Meeting in Abidjan, Assures of Sierra Leone’s Commitment to the Project

By: Austine Luseni
Comuunication Specialist
Ministry of Energy
Contact: 077377042/034157390

Abidjan, CI, Friday August 12,2022 – Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, has joined his colleagues from Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Guinea to ask TRANSCO CLSG management to be innovative and look for other sources of financing in the medium to long term so that TRANSCO CLSG becomes independent.

Mr. Sesay was speaking at the Third Meeting of the Steering Committee of CLSG member countries in Abidjan, Còte d’Ivoire, where he first conveyed greetings and gratitude from President Julius Maada Bio and the People of Sierra Leone to President Alassane Ouattara and the People of Cote d’Ivoire for forging a collaborative energy partnership with Sierra Leone.

Minister Sesay along with his counterparts including the Ivorian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Mamadou Sangafowa-Coulibaly, who chaired the meeting, Mr. Gesler Murray, Minister of Mines and Energy of Liberia, and Mr. Ibrahima Abé Sylla, Minister of Energy, Hydroelectricity and Hydrocarbons of Guinea agreed that TRANSCO CLSG needs all the supports to be viable.

Mr. Sesay spoke about a number of power purchase and transmission agreements that Sierra Leone had signed with Còte d’Ivoire, noting that those agreements had led to the importation of electricity from Còte d’Ivoire to the southeastern cities of Bo and Kenema and the capital city of Freetown.

“Under the CLSG rural electrification program, and as part of our government’s policy objective to provide energy in rural communities, we have connected 28 communities and plan to increase this to 39 by the end of this year. Today, Sierra Leone is part of the CLSG success stories,” Mr. Sesay said.

He said Sierra Leone was now enjoying the TRANSCO/CLSG electricity and was doing everything financially, logistically and administratively possible to continue enjoying it, noting further that his country was proud to see countries in the region support one another.

The Minister of Energy informed his counterparts that since the issue of sustainability was critical, he had taken steps to ensure that large-scale mining companies in Sierra Leone were connected to the CLSG grid, citing the OCTEA Mining Company in Eastern Sierra Leone as one of those companies that were close to being connected to the CLSG grid. This, Mr. Sesay said, would enhance the sustainability of the project through increased revenue.

He warned against the consistent dependence on the CLSG countries and encouraged TRANSCO CLSG and member countries to explore other resources that geared towards enhancing sustainability and independence.

Assistant Minister of Energy in Liberia and Chairman of the Joint Implementation Committee of the CLSG, William Thompson, spoke about the general activities of the Steering Committee.

General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohamed Sheriff, highlighted the legal and technical frameworks that underpin the creation of the TRANSCO/CLSG project and business plan.

The energy sector reforms continue.

Steering Committee meeting ends on high note

The high-level Steering Committee meeting held in Abidjan under the auspices of WAPP, on Friday, August 12, 2022, ended on high note as the four CLSG Ministers of Energy from Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea unanimously agreed to lead measures that will ensure the sustainability of the CLSG project which they termed as dynamic and very important for the region.

The Ivorian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Mamadou Sangafowa-Coulibaly, who chaired the meeting with his counterparts, including Mr. Gesler Murray, Minister of Mines and Energy of Liberia, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone and Mr. Ibrahima Abé Sylla, Minister of Energy, Hydroelectricity and Hydrocarbons of Guinea agreed that TRANSCO CLSG needs all the supports to be viable.

The Ministers acknowledged the remarkable achievements being made in the CLSG project implementation. They extoled the TRANSCO CLSG Management, the Donors and other key stakeholders for a job well done to deliver the project. The CLSG project has achieved 97 percent completion rate across the CLSG.

They signed a Communique at the end of the meeting which was also attended by heads of national utilities from the four countries.

See Final Communique documents:

CLSG Energy Ministers meet in Abidjan

Abidjan, 09 August 2022 – The Energy Ministers of Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will meet shortly in Abidjan-Côte d’Ivoire at the high-level 3rd meeting of the Steering Committee of the Côte d’Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea interconnection project. The meeting, organized by the West African Electric Exchange System (WAPP), takes place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire on Friday, August 12, 2022.

The Ivorian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Mamadou Sangafowa-Coulibaly, will receive his counterparts including Mr. Gesler Murray, Minister of Mines and Energy of Liberia, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Minister of Energy of Sierra Leone and Mr. Ibrahima Abé Sylla, Minister of Energy, Hydroelectricity and Hydrocarbons of Guinea.

Participating in this high-level meeting will be the Secretary General of WAPP, Apollinaire Siengui KI, the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of TRANSCO CLSG as well as the Directors of national electricity companies, including CI-ENERGIES of Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) of Liberia, Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) of Sierra Leone and Electricité de Guinée (EDG) of Guinea.

In preparation for the Steering Committee meeting, the 4th meeting of the Implementation Committee will be held in Abidjan for two days, beginning Wednesday, August 10th at the Movenpick Hotel. The Committee will deliberate in particular on the adoption of TRANSCO’s updated business plan for 2022-2026, the proposed energy transmission tariff for 2022, the annual work program and the budget for 2022.

Key statements will be delivered by the Chairman of the Steering Committee, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of TRANSCO CLSG and the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, who will provide an update on the status of the project implementation and measures that have been taken to address the current sustainability challenges of TRANSCO CLSG and is expected to make recommendations to the Steering Committee for approval.

 

TRANSCO’s sustainability is important – VP

As part of his official tour to engage the CLSG countries on the sustainability of the interconnection project, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif paid a courtesy call on the Vice President of Sierra Leone, HE. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh at his State Avenue Towel Hill office in Freetown on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

During the meeting, the General Manager briefed the Vice President on the progress as well as the challenges in the project implementation. He expressed his delight as Sierra Leone demonstrates her unwavering support thereby connecting to the CLSG grid to improve people’s access to stable and affordable electricity.

Currently, the commercial towns of Kenema and Bo and most recently the capital, Freetown are connected to the CLSG grid and are enjoying improved supply of electricity.

Mr. Sherif thanked the Government and people of Sierra Leone for their firm support to the CLSG project implementation. He also recognized the laudable efforts and supports provided by the Ministers and officials of government.

In response, Vice President Jalloh thanked the General Manager and his team for the level of work being done to deliver stable electricity to Sierra Leone. He reaffirmed his government’s full commitment to the CLSG interconnection project, that the Sierra Leonean Government is connecting more towns and villages to have access to this reliable and affordable electricity.

He also promised to work with all the stakeholders including the CLSG governments to ensure that the CLSG line is sustainable.

Guinea takes steps to electrify Country

The Republic of Guinea has taken steps to build strong electricity network across the country that will connect to the CLSG grid through Linsan in the northern-central region of Guinea.

Guinea has already connected one of its largest commercial centers in the forest region, Nzerekore which is enjoying 24-hour electricity from the CLSG transmission line. “There is no stopping for the country to ensure electricity reaches every corner,” says the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif.

TRANSCO CLSG team with Mr. Kamara (2nd from left)

Mr. Ibrahima Abé Sylla, Minister of Energy, Hydropower and Hydrocarbons of Guinea informed the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, during a courtesy call on his office in Conakry on Thursday, July 28, 2022, that his country has also taken strong measures with US$70 million support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to electrify rural communities. This according to him will increase the demand on the CLSG line.

According to Minister Sylla, the country is moving aggressively to connect large consumers including mining companies to boost its industrial sector. He echoed Guinea’s strong support for the CLSG interconnection project, adding that the project is a blessing to millions in the country who are yearning for stable and affordable electricity.

Earlier, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG briefed the Minister on the progress and the challenges in the project implementation. He sought the unwavering support of the Guinean government for the sustainability of TRANSCO CLSG. Mr. Sherif thanked the Government and people of Guinea for trading on the CLSG line.

Following his high-level meeting with the Minister of Energy, the General Manager met with the Director General of Electricité de Guinée (EDG) Mr. Layee Sekou Kamara, who welcomed the TRANSCO CLSG team at his office and applauded the Management for achieving major milestones in the landmark project implementation. He assured Mr. Sherif of his sector’s support to sustain the transmission company.

GM Sheriif with Mr. Keita

Mr. Kamara called on the General Manager and his team to continue the good work of delivering stable and affordable electricity, adding, “The electrification of Nzerekore is a fact, not a theory.”

In another high-profile meeting with the Secretary General at the Ministry of Energy, Ahmed Sekou Keita, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG provided update on the CLSG project implementation and called on the government to support the sustainability of TRANSCO CLSG.

In response, Mr. Keita reaffirmed his government’s full commitment to the CLSG project. He said Guinea is ready to work with other CLSG countries to support TRANSCO CLSG and to make it sustainable. “TRANSCO CLSG is our company, and we must provide supports to make sure it stays alive and delivers,” Mr. Keita said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General has instructed the EDG not to delay payments to TRANSCO CLSG, adding that “the power in Nzerekore is a real testimony.”

TRANSCO CLSG’s sustainability is vital – says Minister of Finance

The Minister of Finance of Sierra Leone has underscored the importance of TRANSCO CLSG project and reaffirmed the government of President Julius Maada Bio commitment to its sustainability.
 
Minister Dennis K. Vandi made the assurance when the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif paid a courtesy visit at his office in Freetown on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
 
Minister Vandi expressed his satisfaction with the level of work that has been done in the project implementation, resulting to TRANSCO connecting key towns including Kenema, Bo and recently the capital city, Freetown to the CLSG grid.
 
The Finance Minister is upbeat about the rural electrification project which is far advanced in Sierra Leone. According to him, the national project will greatly improve economic growth in these rural areas.
 
He says the government and people of Sierra Leone are committed to ensuring that the CLSG project is viable.
 
Earlier, the General manager of TRANSCO CLSG briefed Minister Vandi on the progress and challenges in the CLSG project implementation and applauded the government and people of Sierra Leone for their unrelentless support to the project which is delivering stable and affordable electricity to the country.
 
Following his meeting with the Minister of Finance, the General Manager also met with the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, who also reaffirmed the government of Sierra Leone support to sustain TRANSCO CLSG.
 
Minister Sesay said the government is tirelessly working to connect more households on the CLSG line and even beyond. He informed the General Manager that the CLSG model is working as the Sierra Leoneans are enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply through the CLSG line.

German Ambassador visits Mano Substation

Monrovia, Liberia – July 20, 22: The German Ambassador accredited to Liberia, His Excellency Jakob Haselhuber, on Friday, July 15, 2022, visited the Mano Substation to complete the tour of all five CLSG Substations in Liberia.

In 2021, the German Ambassador as part of his acquaintance with the CLSG Project, visited the substations of Yekepa, Botota, Buchanan and Monrovia. The CLSG substations in Liberia are funded through a Grant from the German Development Bank, KfW.

In his remarks, the Ambassador congratulated the TRANSCO CLSG Management for the professional manner adopted in implementing the CLSG Project. He expressed his delight that the Government of Germany’s contributions to the CLSG Project is utilized for the purpose of developing the electricity sector of Liberia that will provide reliable and affordable power to the Liberian people.

“For me it is very good to know that the money the German Taxpayers are contributing to the development of electricity in Liberia is well used,” the Ambassador said.

In a related development, the KfW, in its periodic technical audit of the CLSG project inspected and reviewed all works and O&M activities done in the CLSG substations.

FREETOWN connects to CLSG Grid following successful synchronization

The capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown, home to millions of Sierra Leoneans has been connected and is now enjoying the much-awaited 24-hour electricity from the CLSG grid. “People are upbeat and there is excitement all over town,” says Freetown resident, Sulaiman Kamara, who is also TRANSCO CLSG Environmental Assistant.

TRANSCO CLSG project reached this landmark achievement on Thursday, July 7, 2022, following the successful synchronization of the Sierra Leone network with the CLSG network, as well as the effective energization of the Bikongor and Bumbuna substations. TRANSCO CLSG is supplying electricity to Freetown from an injection point in Bumbuna, which is about 260 km away from the capital. Freetown has been importing up to a peak of 50 MW from the CLSG network, according to Erick Achi, the Engineering Coordinator of TRANSCO CLSG.

In December 2021, the President of Sierra Leone, Dr Julius Maada Bio officially switched on the Côte d’Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea electricity interconnection line at Tilorma, Kenema, bringing power to his political heartland in the south and east of the country. Moments after the President turned on the light, the city went into frenzy as residents jubilated the outcome of the historic ceremony.

The Project Director, Mr Etienne BAILLY highlighted that “This is a major achievement in the CLSG project implementation. It means that electricity can now be transmitted from CI Energies in Côte d’Ivoire to Bo, Kenema, Kono Bumbuna and Freetown (via the EGTC’s 161kV HT line)”. This is not a small measure that will help with the provision of a sustainable and reliable electricity supply to the people of Sierra Leone,” said Eng. Paul Saffa, TRANSCO CLSG Country Manager.

With approximately 530km transmission line across Sierra Leone, the 225 kV power line is serving Bo and Kenema towns, with ongoing plans for the grid to serve other districts, including Pujehun, Kenema, Kono, Tonkolili, Koinadugu, Bombali, Kambia and Karene.

The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif is pleased with the development in Freetown. He notes that by switching on the light, the Government of Sierra Leone offers hope for a better life, improved health, and education, alleviating poverty, and fostering sustainable socio-economic development.

Sierra Leone is the first among the CLSG countries to sign both the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) and started trade on the line. The General Manager says it’s a clear manifestation of the President’s leadership role played in ensuring that this transformative CLSG project is achieved for the betterment of all.

Meanwhile, the Management of Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) of Sierra Leone is informing the general public that the interconnection works, testing and energization of the TRANSCO CLSG Line at Bumbuna Substation to Freetown has been completed.

In its Press Release issued Wednesday, July 13, 2022, the Authority said it will ensure Freetown benefits from a more reliable access to electricity from the CLSG supply grid through the transmission line that have been constructed from Bumbuna to Freetown and other parts of the Northern Region.

On that note, the ESDA wants the public to know that the CLSG interconnection project aimed at supplying adequate, reliable and sustainable electric power has successfully landed in Freetown.

EDSA said that with this TRANSCO CLSG development, it now has three (3) sources of power generation: (Karpowership, Bumbuna and TRANSCO), which will certainly reduce load shedding activity and would also compensate for any unforeseen drop in power generation from either of its power producers.

Meanwhile, construction works will soon be completed at Fadugu (Yiben) and Kamakwei Substations in the Northern Province this year to enhance electricity supply to the Northern part of Sierra Leone, EDSA added, and assured the general public of its continued effort to ensuring the unhindered supply of electricity to its valued customers, including expansion to unserved communities and maintenance of its network distribution infrastructure.

TRANSCO CLSG success is our success – Board Chairman urges CLSG countries

The Chairman of the Board of Directors is urging CLSG countries to work together and ensure the viability of TRANSCO CLSG. “The success of TRANSCO CLSG is our success. It’s the success for WAPP (West Africa Power Pool), for Cote d’Ivoire, for Liberia, for Sierra Leone and for Guinea,” Mr. Noumory Sidibe said when he addressed the CLSG Stakeholders, following the Board meeting on Monday, June 27, 2022 in Abidjan.

Mr. Sidibe congratulated WAPP for establishing TRANSCO CLSG and for launching other electricity projects aimed at integrating the West African energy market. “We must not stop there; we must make sure TRANSCO CLSG and all other projects are fully supported to succeed.”

The Board Chairman called on CLSG countries to consolidate their effort to ensure the CLSG interconnection is supported so that is it able to deliver the mush needed electricity to the population in need.

“The CLSG project is a vision for Africans and is being implemented by Africans. We should be proud. Its is strategic for our countries and it’s the symbol of our understanding. It is a bond, one that is beyond 1000 words of pan Africanism,” the outspoken Board Chairman furthered.

He termed the CLSG project as a privilege project that translates eloquently, adding, “It is a union among our countries that is meeting the critical needs of our people. We are finding solutions for our people and countries and we must ensure it becomes a reality, viable and sustainable.”

Chairman Sidibe urged the CLSG countries to stand the test of time and ensure the project succeed. “We have to take full responsibility to ensure this project succeeds.”

He called on the Management of TRANSCO CLSG to work with the donors and other stakeholders to address remaining challenges. “We must strive to succeed. We must commit our ourselves to do the right thing for our people. We must take full responsibility.”

He disclosed that Cote d’Ivoire is working on other sources of energy and that the country will not fail to supply stable and affordable electricity. He urged the TRANSCO CLSG Management to begin to look into other ambitious projects including building a second circuit on the CLSG line.

“We must not be complacent,” the Chairman emphasized, adding, “We must have one voice. We are transparent and must decide what is good for our common structure. We should have openness in working with our partners. We must provide clarifications if needed.”

The Board Chairman thanked the Management of TRANSCO CLSG for the successful implementation of the landmark CLSG project in the midst of enormous challenges. “TRANSCO is a big baby that needs our support. We have to support the management of TRANSCO to succeed.”

Board inducts new member from EDG

The Board of Directors, at the 27th meeting in Abidjan on Monday, June 27, 2022, inducted its new member from Guinea, Mr. Laye Sekou Camara, Director General of Electricite De Guinee (EDG). Mr. Camara was also inducted as member of the Stakeholders.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board urged the Director General of EDG to work hard to ensure TRANSCO CLSG’s viability. He said the Board and the Stakeholders were excited to welcome Mr. Camara onboard and look forward to working with him.

In brief remarks, Mr. Camara thanked the Board and Stakeholders for the induction and promised to work with the team to improve access to stable electricity for the population.

“The CLSG project is very dear to us. We are here to support the project. In Nzerekore, the demand is high for access to stable electricity. The people are thirsty and want power in their homes, businesses, etc. Everything we do is for our population so we must do right by them.”