The Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Patrick Sendolo, has described the TRANSCO CLSG project as having reached the “point of no return” as a key part of Liberia’s energy sector master plan.
At the opening of a two-day Donors’ Coordination Meeting organized by TRANSCO CLSG in Monrovia yesterday, the Minister urged close coordination among donors to deal with challenges in the implementation of its activities in the region.
TRANSCO CLSG is a regional transmission company responsible for affordable and reliable electricity in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“We have reached the point of no return through which we can look forward to the future and say this project shall be done,” the Minister told the gathering.
The meeting, which closes today, aims to provide updates and discussing progress and challenges in the implementation of the CLSG project with the donors and key stakeholders in the country.
Minister Sendolo maintained that the progress being made in the implementation of the CLSG project is possible through partnership with stakeholders, including the donors, and the hard work of the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
In a couple of months, according to the Minister, the government will commission the first unit of the Mount Coffee hydroelectric plant.
He described the Mount Coffee hydro project as a challenging project; however, through much effort, commitment and coordination with the donors and other key partners, the project has become a reality.
He paid tributes to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), among others, for making the CLSG project a reality. “This is a great project. All we can do now is to create more synergy.”
Minister Sendolo emphasized that commitment and partnership are key to the successful outcome of the CLSG interconnection project for the people of the CLSG countries to receive reliable and affordable electricity.
Also speaking, Mohammed M. Sherif, General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, said the project is aimed at promoting a regional energy market and optimizing the use of energy resources in West Africa. “It is one of the five priority projects of the West African Power Pool Master Plan that aims to build a 225kv of 1,303 kilometers to connect the electrical networks in the four countries.”
He further disclosed that the project is being financed through loans and grants at an approximate cost of US$476 million by the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank (KfW).
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Amidou Traore, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CLSG, thanked the donors, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, KfW, the European Investment Bank and the European Union for their valuable financial support.
Mr. Traore said the presence of stakeholders at the meeting demonstrated that they have an interest in the flagship project in the sub-region.
He said the Board of Directors and the Executive Management of TRANSCO CLSG are aware of the enormous expectations legitimately raised by the project.
“We must therefore strengthen this great technical and financial cooperation, and even political, to complete the project,” and vowed that “nothing will stop them, neither US dollar currency fluctuation or infrastructure costs that seem to be higher today compared to the funds obtained, nor the risks we may be confronted with, including health and humanitarian crises. Together, we will overcome the obstacles and we will manage to achieve this noble goal, which is to provide electrical energy in sufficient quantities and at competitive costs to our people.”
Mr. Traore then assured partners that the project, at the first commissioned phase in 2018, will fully benefit the four countries through the effective connection of national networks to build transformer stations and the implementation of the rural electrification component.
Speaking on behalf of donor representatives, Madam Clemencia Torres, World Bank Task Team leader on CLSG congratulated the four countries for the interest expressed in the interconnection project.
Madam Torres said the CLSG connection will be cheaper and affordable for every citizen to have electricity in their various homes, and urged them to attach seriousness to the project.