Energy Independence requires the cooperation of all, GM Sherif asserts.

“The path to true energy independence lies in our cooperation,” observed the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG. Mr. Mohammed M. Sherif adds that the landmark CLSG project stands as a symbol of what’s possible “when we work together.”

Mr. Sherif was addressing the Energy Roundtable Conference organized by the Ministry of Energy of Sierra Leone and the World Bank, in Freetown on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, under the theme: “Sustainable Energy for All: A Countdown to 2030.” The TRANSCO CLSG Boss emphasized that the 2030 deadline for Sustainable Energy for All demands an immediate action, stressing that progress cannot wait for rural communities and growing industries.

In his statement at the energy trade conference, which was graced by His Excellency President Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, Mr. Sherif said TRANSCO CLSG stands ready to deliver reliable, affordable power across the region. “We will operate and maintain the CLSG line as a symbol of our shared progress. We will deepen collaborative partnerships with our neighboring grid operators. We will champion the development of a skilled workforce to manage the energy systems of tomorrow and we will explore creative financing models to build the clean energy infrastructure we deserve,” the General Manager assured.

“Our five operational substations here in Sierra Leone are proof that the CLSG is transforming lives. This legacy project is no longer a blueprint; it’s bringing power and opportunity to millions across our four nations,” Mr. Sherif disclosed and noted that completing the transmission line and substations remains a testament to what “we can achieve together. However, true success lies in using this infrastructure to its fullest potential. In particular, the line is currently being used at 42% of the 200MW available capacity.”

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Mr. Sherif explained some of the bottlenecks in the CLSG project implementation and urged stakeholders to invest in expanding the transmission capacity and generation and consider opportunities like a second circuit along the existing line. He called on the CLSG countries and other stakeholders to harmonize regulations and pricing that reflect the true cost of energy needed to accelerate development.

The TRANSCO CLSG Boss emphasized that the harmonization of regulations will allow easy access to all users, including mining companies, both at the national and regional levels. “We must also honor our payment obligations to ensure the sustainability of the power line,” he pointed out.

Mr. Sherif informed the conference that the CLSG stands as a vital linchpin within WAPP’s bold mission to advance regional energy trade. “It’s a power superhighway, enabling us to share surplus energy, optimize resources, protect against shortages, and reduce reliance on unsustainable energy.” He declared that TRANSCO CLSG remains firmed in its commitment to the transition to sustainable energy. “Our transmission line is the backbone that provides pathways to integrate solar, wind, and hydropower for a cleaner and more resilient CLSG region. The CLSG substations in Sierra Leone are along many renewable energy potentials.”

The 1,303-kilometer high-voltage transmission line, weaving through the four nations including Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, is a testament to the power of regional collaboration. In 2012, a pivotal International Treaty cemented the commitment of the CLSG countries to regional energy integration within the West African Power Pool (WAPP). “Our goals directly support this conference’s aspirations, which include enhanced regional connections, access to electricity for all, socio-economic development, and cost-effective, reliable power.”

The General Manager hailed the unwavering support from stakeholders behind the CLSG project, which include the CLSG national Governments for their steadfast commitment which built the bedrock upon which this endeavor rests; the TRANSCO CLSG Board for their  guidance which has been indispensable throughout and to the Financial and Technical Partners including the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, and KFW Development Bank for their visionary support that made the CLSG dream a reality.

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