Following the signing of milestone contracts for the installation of transmission lines under the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP), TRANSCO CLSG, a regional electricity transmission company has held kick off meeting with the National Contracting Company (NCC) for Transmission line Lot 2 in Monrovia.
According to TRANSCO CLSG General Manager, Mohammed Sherif, the purpose of the ensuing kickoff meetings is to formally notify all team members, clients, and stakeholders that the CLSG interconnection project has begun and to make sure everyone has a common understanding of the project and their roles. “Our people are waiting to see the reliable and affordable electricity in their homes and communities. This will spur economic growth in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as well in Ivory Coast,” said the General Manager Mohammed Sherif. Mr. Sherif said the meeting with contractors is to allow them gather their resources on the ground in order meet up with the completion timeframe. He added that most of their works have been taking place through “sequential commission”. “We commission as we build, that’s the entire idea and we are committed to that," he noted. He indicated that enough work has been done to ensure that affordable is made available by 2019 but pointed out that that does not mean electricity will only be provided in 2019 but progressively. Sherif said the expectation of the people of Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) is very high to see the full completion of electricity in their countries. The TRANSCO CLSG boss said the construction of the 1,303km of transmission line and multiple sub stations in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are being financed by four donors. With over US$400m provided by the four donors both in grant and credit, the CSLG General Manager said governments of the four countries have also contributed to the project. “They called it counterpart funding; funding that is contributed by the government- you got to provide that before donors bring funding”, he said. “The government of Liberia has provided money for the resettlement action plan- that is funding for those that will be affected by the project”. Giving some challenge about the project, Sherif said the Ebola crisis and the foreign exchange rate have been the two major challenges the project has faced. “Actually, the mean challenge that we faced that led to the delay of the project implementation was the whole aspect of the Ebola; where we had to sit for almost a year plus. "And that actually imparted the implementation time line. And another challenge is the aspect of the funding largely driving by the exchange rate loses,” he said. Under the World Bank financing, the TRANSCO CLSG management has awarded the contract for Lot 1 transmission line that runs from Yekepa to Buchanan to the JV Elecnor-Eiffage Energie of Spain. On January 16, 2017, management awarded the Saudi Arabia based National Contracting Company Ltd for Lot 2 of the transmission line from Buchanan to Monrovia. The milestone event however continues on January 18, 2017 when the TRANSCO CLSG management awards the contract for Lot 3 which runs from Mano in Liberia to Kenema and Bikongor in Sierra Leone to JYOTI Structures Limited of India, under the European Investment Bank (EIB) financing. The contract for Lot 4 from Binkongor to Yiben via Bumbuna, which is also funded by the EIB, was signed with Kalpataru Power Transmission of India on January 19, 2017.