Gearing Up For Project Implementation, GM Pleads with Donors

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.