TRANSCO CLSG General Manager Talks to Sierra Leoneans on the Regional Power Pool Project, Cites Reasons for Existing Challenges and Assures of Urgent and Lasting Solutions
Freetown, Thursday, February 17, 2022: The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif is visiting Freetown, Sierra Leone where he has been providing the reasons for the power outages in Kenema and Bo, and the steps taken to resolve the problem.
“I take full responsibility, it’s our (transmission) line…” the General Manager on Thursday, February 17, 2022, declared during successive live radio and television interviews hosted by the Africa Young Voices (AYV) and the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) in Freetown.
Mr. Sherif said Sierra Leone or Cote d’Ivoire, which supplies the electricity through the 225kv transmission line is not the cause of the problem. He explained that the problem is with the medium power supply to the SVC and the auxiliary equipment which is housed at Mount Coffee in Liberia. He said due to the length of the CLSG line which is over 1000km, a robust SVC system is required to stabilize the voltage profile along the line so that the people of Bo and Kenema receive stable electricity.
The TRANSCO CLSG General Manager furthered that the Management of TRANSCO CLSG engaged the Government of Liberia and other stakeholders including Sierra Leone and the Board of Directors on the power outage issue, following which Liberia provided funding that was used to purchase two generators for the temporary solution. “Once the generators are installed, we will continue to supply through our SVC until the permanent solution is reached in about eight months.”
Mr. Sherif assured Sierra Leoneans that the power outage problem will be resolved shortly. “It is not the problem of EDSA or Sierra Leone. We take full responsibility,” the General Manager reiterated.
The General Manager is in Freetown at the invitation of Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay to alleviate the growing fears and doubts Sierra Leoneans had expressed over the CLSG project which was commissioned in December last year by President Julius Maada Bio as a first step to provide the cities of Bo and Kenema with sustainable electricity.
Mr. Sherif said the commissioning ceremony triggered an expectation or euphoria of constant electricity in the minds of Sierra Leoneans, adding however that the way the system was designed makes it challenging for the power to be evacuated from Man in Côte d’Ivoire through Liberia and then to Kenema in Sierra Leone.
He disclosed that Sierra Leone is the only CLSG country that is currently trading on the line, noting further that Guinea would probably conclude its own negotiations at the end of February 2022. Mr. Sherif noted that the CLSG electricity was directly targeting constituent utilities in the four countries, adding that through an African Development Bank intervention, the rural electrification component of the CLSG is being implemented, with Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone has made considerable progress in that regard.
Mr. Sherif said in 2019, the Board of Directors and the Management of TRANSCO formed a task force with a view to working with utilities in the four countries so as to put them in readiness for the power. He assured Sierra Leoneans that measures being taken so far would surely bear the desired results to enable the country to enjoy reliable and quality electricity from the regional project.