Monday, September 18, 2017, Abidjan, CI – The General Manager of the TRANSCO CLSG Mohammed M. Sherif says immense progress has been made in the implementation of the CLSG project.
“Mr. Chairman and members of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to report to you today progress we’ve made in the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project. Since the last Board meeting of June in Liberia, we have made significant progress in the project implementation,” the Genera Manager said in his statement at the 15th Board of Directors meeting in Abidjan.
PROGRESS ON THE EPC CONTRACTS
Mr. Sherif recognized the support of the donors and authorities in the CLSG countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea towards making the CLSG project implementation a milestone. The General Manager disclosed that TRANSCO CLSG has worked diligently to conclude the awarding of EPC contracts for the transmission line and substations in the four countries.
Mr. Sherif added: “Out of the total of 13 contracts, we have signed eight, with five of those now effective. Those EPC contractors have already mobilized resources and have begun construction activities including engineering studies, aerial surveys and soil testing in the four CLSG countries. Factory Tests for the key equipment, including conductors and towers have been successfully launched and will continue to be performed all along this last quarter of 2017.”
ESMP & RAP ACTIVITIES
Mr. Sherif also disclosed that significant progress in the implementation of the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) which remain one of the critical activities to the successful implementation of the CLSG project, has been made. According to him, following the approval of the compensation strategy by the management of TRANSCO CLSG and donors, consultancy firms were hired to conduct the RAP and ESMP data consolidation in the transmission line final corridor before any payment is made to people affected by the project (PAPs).
He said all the EPC contractors, particularly those whose contracts are effective are now preparing the ESMP Construction Documents which will be used to mitigate environmental, health, hygiene, safety and social negative impacts during the project implementation.
Still on the environmental front, the General Manager said the implementation of the Reforestation Program, the Environmental Monitoring Program and the RAP Monitoring Program has been scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2017. The Operational Action Plan and MoU for these components were adopted by TRANSCO CLSG and the National Monitoring Committees in July and August 2017 respectively. All periodical meetings of the NMC have been held reflecting the permanent awareness of the four governments on this critical component of the project.
PROGRESS UPDATES ON AUDITS ASSIGNMENTS
On the audit fronts, the General Manager said significant progress has been made on the Internal and external audit assignments. He said the Internal Auditor is currently auditing the implementation and risk management of the CLSG Project and he has prepared an annual internal audit statement that gives an overall opinion on the adequacy of the systems of internal controls, risk management and governance at TRANSCO CLSG.
On external audit, the General Manager said the Management of the World Bank on August 28, 2017 finally approved the decision to provide an additional financing to fill the financing gaps in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Negotiations between the World Bank and authorities in Liberia and Sierra Leone along with TRANSCO CLSG have been scheduled for October 2 – 4, 2017. Following these negotiations, the World bank management will submit to the Board of the World Bank for final approval before the financing agreement can be signed.
While commending the Board committee on Audit and Good Governance for the tremendous work of endorsing the 2016 external audit report on Friday September 15, 2017, the General Manager urged the Chairman and members of the Board to approve the external audit report for 2016, as this is a critical step in filling the financing gaps of the CLSG project.
“We are very confident that with the same level of support and commitment from you, our donors, and other key stakeholders, we will achieve our goal. We recognize your effort in all this. We owe gratitude to you for your support towards the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project. Your willingness is clearly demonstrated by the invaluable support shown to TRANSCO CLSG by governments and the national utilities in the CLSG countries.”
Mr. Sherif also thanked the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, donors and other key partners for their unwavering support and commitment to the CLSG project. “We remain confident that with the same support, the challenges ahead are far lesser.”
The General Manager also acknowledged the resilience and the efforts of his team which has made it possible to achieve key milestones towards project implementation.