Mr. Khwima Nthara, the World Bank Country Manager in Liberia has emphasized the importance of the CLSG project to Liberia’s economy and development, adding that when the lines are powered, it will help alleviate the challenges the country faces.
“We are looking forward to the March 2020 target date because this is a project that has been long-awaited by the people of Liberia,” he said.
“We will like to recommit our support to the project going forward and to work with all stakeholders – government, development partners and others involve in making sure this project comes to fruition because the benefits will be immense for Liberia.”
The CLSG project when completed will enable Liberia import power from Ivory Coast and also export to other countries in the sub-region including Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The government will then use it as a means of increasing its revenue generation and at the same time solve the power quagmire, economists have said.
Earlier, the CLSG lines were expected to be turned on by the end of December this year but several challenges including the rainy season have pushed the deadline further.
However, when the lines are on, TRANSCO CLSG will bring in the electricity to the substations while LEC would sell to customers based on a transmission service agreement with TRANSCO CLSG and Power Purchase Agreement with Cote D’Ivoire.
Donors of the CLSG electricity project conducting a two-day coordination meeting in Monrovia to review the progress of work on the sub-regional project expected to benefit Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have announced that the commissioning of four of five transmission sub-stations in Liberia will be done in March 2020.
Making the disclosure at the start of the meeting on Monday, December 9, Mr. Mohammed Sheriff, General Manager of Transco CLSG – the multinational company managing the project – said by the end of December this year, four sub-stations will be completed and pre-testing of these stations will commence January 2020.
He clarified that the completion of the fifth station, which is being built in Botota, Bong County, will be delayed because that project was initiated very late. It started after the German Development Bank or KFW agreed to fund its construction.
He, however, emphasized the need for the government to be prepared to take on transmission and distribution of the power to customers when the lines are turn on next year.
“It’s our hope that as soon as we are done, the Liberian government will be able to take it from there,” said Mr. Sherif, who added that it will be “very unfortunate” when the project is completed and the government cannot embark on transmission and distribution.
“There’s one thing to bring the electricity, there’s another thing to get connected to the electricity – if Transco were to come today is the government of Liberia ready? That is the key question we will all be discussing today.”
The meeting was attended by key donor partners of the project including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank or KFW.
Pictorials presented in PowerPoint during the meeting showed the level of work being done on the sub-stations and the transmission lines which will run from the Ivory Coast to Liberia via the five sub-stations.
Hannah Roth, Project Manager of the German Development Bank (KFW) for the CLSG project has expressed confidence that the March 2020 deadline for the CLSG project commissioning in Liberia will be met.
“Of course, some bits and pieces are needed to be completed but I’m positive that together with the engineers and together with TRANSCO (CLSG) we are going to accomplish the completion of the project,” Ms. Roth said during an interview at the Mount Coffee project site.
“I’m really proud to be on this project because it’s a great team effort and working together with TRANSCO CLSG and the other engineers and all the donors – it’s a really good teamwork and I’m proud to be a part.”
The KfW project manager disclosed that three other sub-stations are nearing completion. The sub-stations in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County; Yekepa, Nimba County; Bo-Waterside, Grand Cape Mount County are all expected to be commissioned in March next year with the exception of a fifth one in Botota in Bong county that was included in the plan lately after KFW decided to fund its construction.
Contractors building a gigantic electricity station at the Mount Coffee electricity plant have been warned against failing to meet the completion date of March 2020, at which time TRANSCO CLSG power transmission line will be commissioned.
The CLSG line will be a 225 KV double circuit that will produce 486 megawatts of electricity. The power will be transmitted from Cote d’Ivoire to Liberia, and then to Sierra Leone and Guinea. When the lines are powered, Liberia will then use it as a means of increasing its revenue generation and at the same time solve its power quagmire.
Earlier, the CLSG lines were expected to be turned on by the end of December this year but several challenges including the rainy season have pushed the deadline three months ahead.
However, when the lines are on, TRANSCO CLSG will bring in the electricity to the sub-stations while LEC would sell to customers based on a transmission service agreement with TRANSCO CLSG and Power Purchase Agreement with Cote D’Ivoire.
But taking meticulous inspection of one of the four sub-stations nearing completion, Mr. Etienne Bailly, Director of the Project Implementation Unit of Transco CLSG, stressed that “failure is not an option” for the contractors and admonished them to collaborate and fast track the work.
“As we are today, failure is not an option [and] what we call failure is not that things will not work for the project but we see failure as not meeting the deadline [of March 2020 for the commissioning],” Mr. Bailly said at the Mount Coffee where the sub-station is being built.
“I came to find out whether things are going right because we have some promises we have made to the government of Liberia as it relates to the commissioning date – so we want to make sure that the contractors are on track.”
The inspection of the sub-station on Wednesday (December 11, 2019) came following a two-day donors coordination meeting in Monrovia where funders of the CLSG project decided the new March 2020 deadline for the commissioning of the project.
The meeting, held in Monrovia from Monday to Tuesday, December 9-10, was attended by key donor partners including the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank or KFW.
Meanwhile, during the inspection of the Mount Coffee sub-station which has been named by TRANSCO CLSG as “Monrovia Sub-station”, Mr. Baily reechoed optimism that the commissioning will take place as planned, and called on the contractors to be steadfast and “be very mindful of the challenges that they have to face in the next three months”.
“We are satisfied but now time is very short and we want to be concern and alert the contractors to go fast so that we meet up with March, so we are instructing them (contractors) to go for a close collaboration and to see the best way to safe time,” he said.
“I’m optimistic of that and I know that our contractors are very committed and are mindful of the challenges that they have to address.”
He added that pre-testing of the sub-stations have started already and that the process will officially begin January of next year – by then, many of the substations will already be completed, adding, “Personally, I will come here more often to see that what have be decided is going well.”
He urged Liberians to be hopeful about the completion of the power project, which will address the country’s energy problem”
“By this project, it will be a connection to which all the 14 ECOWAS states will be connected and so, Liberia will be able to export [electricity] or import electricity and big companies in the future will be able to buy energy,” he said.
ABIDJAN, CI, December 5, 2019: The Management of TRANSCO CLSG, a regional transmission company responsible for the transmission of affordable and reliable electricity to millions of citizens in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea is convening an high-level Donors’ Coordination meeting in Monrovia, Liberia on Monday and Tuesday, December 9-10, 2019, to discuss the progress and challenges in the implementation of the CLSG project.
The meeting is being organized within the framework of the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project, to provide updates to stakeholders including the donors and the governments of the CLSG countries. The World Bank (WB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the German Development Bank (KfW) are among the stakeholders attending the meeting.
The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif, along with his senior management team and the project Owner’s Engineer, will attend the meeting during which he will provide up-to-date progress reports including the new commissioning schedule of the project.
Following the two-day meeting, TRANSCO CLSG along with the donors will conduct project site visit along the transmission line and substations corridors in Buchanan, Yekepa, Botota, Mount Coffee and Mano.
The Government of the Republic of Guinea is holding discussions with the management of TRANSCO CLSG for a possible expansion of the CLSG interconnection project in the country. As a result, the Guinean Minister of Economy and Finance extended an official invitation to TRANSCO CLSG for a high-level meeting in Conakry to discuss the crucial issue.
During the meeting on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, Guinean authorities informed TRANSCO CLSG management of their plan to extend the CLSG transmission lines beyond Linsan into Fomi and other parts of Guinea that are not currently part of the CLSG project implementation.
They disclosed a plan to construct a 225kv transmission line along the 347km stretch from Linsan to Fomi and sought TRANSCO CLSG leadership in making it become a reality. The Guinean authorities also sought TRANSCO CLSG’s leadership in mobilizing funding and EPC contractors for the newly earmarked energy project.
The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif along with his Directors of Finance and Administration, Josephus Jigba Yilla and Project Implementation Unit, Etienne Bailly attended the meeting in Conakry.
The General Manager of TRANSC CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, along with his senior management team is currently in Brussels to review the progress of the Acceleration Plan with the Owner’s Engineer, TRACTEBEL.
The high-level meeting is taking place at the time when the partial commissioning of the CLSG project is planned for December 2019 in Liberia. Mr. Sherif and team are holding critical discussions with the TRACTEBEL senior management at the company’s headquarters.
The objective is to bring the EPC contractors, Owner’s engineer and TRANSCO CLSG management together and discuss critical issues affecting the project implementation as well as find amicable solutions. So far, the meetings have been successful with EPC contractors re-affirming their commitments to delivering as scheduled.
Traveling with the General Manager at the Directors of Finance and Administration, Josephus Jigba Yilla, Director of the Project Implementation Unit, Etienne Bailly, the Procurement and Contract Management Specialist, Mohamed Keita, Engineering Coordinator, Erick Achi and Project Engineer Arnaud Kouassi Odi.
A technical meeting on the interconnection operating agreement for the CLSG regional interconnector project was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone on Friday, October 11, 2019.
The meeting discussed key issues including a proposed road map to achieve consensus and adhesion of the parties on the content of the interconnection operating agreement and a strategy for operationalization of the CLSG interconnector.
The four utilities responsible for electricity in the CLSG countries participated in the meeting, chaired by the Director of the Project Implementation Unit of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Etienne Bailly. Also leading discussions was Michel Caubet. World Bank Consultant.
Mr. Bailly reaffirmed TRANSCO CLSG commitment to deliver reliable and affordable electricity to the people of the CLSG countries. “We are committed. We are pushing our contractors to deliver the project on time.” He thanked the participants for the fruitful discussion and wished them safe journey to their respective destinations.