Abidjan, CI, March 16, 2017: The General of TRANSCO CLSG says the flagship CLSG project will demonstrate great results that will be resounding and serve as a springboard for future cooperation within CLSG and beyond.
In his statement delivered at the 14th General Assembly of the Board of Directors in Abidjan, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif reported that despite the unforeseen challenges, TRANSCO CLSG made significant achievements in the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project. “We want to reiterate that the state of the CLSG project remains strong.”
Mr. Sherif informed the Chairman and members of the Board of TRANSCO CLSG that the transmission company has launched key activities to the point where “we can look forward to the future and say the CLSG project shall be done; that there is no turning back now in delivering stable and affordable electricity to millions of our people in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”
He added, “We are therefore grateful to all of you for taking your time off to be here and discuss our issues, which demonstrates your unflinching support towards the effective implementation of the CLSG project and the importance of the tasks we are accomplishing for the future of our sub-region.”
Sherif maintained that to supply affordable and reliable electricity is an indispensable component that is embedded in the national growth strategy of each CLSG country. The yearn for such opportunity cannot be over-emphasized, because it remains the fundamental requirement for improving people’s lives.
He added, “Let me inform you that the CLSG interconnection project is in the bright spot and is set to play a pivotal role in growing the economies of the CLSG countries. When we build the 1,303km of transmission line and commission the project in 2019, it will give our people a new lease of life. It will also fuel economic growth as it is estimated that 24 million people along the line corridors will benefit from the CLSG project.
Sherif furthered, “Energy is the biggest driver of economies as access to affordable, durable electricity, together with the technology to light up the sub region’s vast rural area, which is largely cut off from national grids, is becoming the most critical factor in the development objectives of the CLSG project for the four Mano River Union (MRU) countries.”
Across the CLSG countries, citizens including local leaders, entrepreneurs and small business owners are patiently waiting the realization of this project. We are poised to deliver on this mandate. We are resolute in building on our achievements by accelerating the implementation project with a shared passion and commitment.
According to him, the year 2016 was marred with some challenges, particularly with the disclosure of a financing gap, which appeared to threaten the implementation of the CLSG project. He said the gap was realized mainly due to foreign exchange rate losses, delays in the project implementation and bids with higher prices than the initial budget.
However, Sherif disclosed that TRANSCO CLSG management held series of consultations with the donors to address this unforeseen challenge. “Today, we are very pleased to inform you that with your solid support and guidance, we were able to address the issue with a firm commitment from our donors.”
Thus, 2017 marks a high turnaround in the effective start of the construction phase. He said all disbursement conditions have been met and the first four EPC contracts were signed in January 2017. “We have made steady progress, and it is our goal to kick off ground breaking activities so that physical construction activity simultaneously in each CLSG country during the first half of 2017.”
The General Manager thanked the authorities of the Governments of Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea for their continual supports, a contributing mark in the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project. “Together, we are set to make history as we launch construction activities simultaneously across the four CLSG countries. “
He also recognised the effort of the Board and donors, adding, “We owe gratitude to you for your support towards the implementation of the CLSG project. I want to further express my heartfelt appreciation to you the stakeholders of the project including our financial partners, for believing and trusting us. We are grateful. You have made it possible for this dreamed project to soon become a reality.”
To conclude, Sherif pointed out that these milestones wouldn’t have been achieved if not for the resilience of his hard-working TRANSCO CLSG team. “I want to acknowledge their unyielding commitment and passion, through which we achieved key milestones towards project implementation and institutional functions.”