TRANSCO CLSG to Address Electricity Woes Soon

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General Manager Sherif touring with team

By Joaquin M. Sendolo and William Q. Harmon

TRANSCO CLSG, a company implementing the installation of electricity facilities for the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP), is now ready to commission substations it has completed, up to 97 percent, to provide electricity in most parts of the country.

Entirely, the Mount Coffee facility being constructed has a 225-volt capacity with 133.66 megawatts allotted to Mount Coffee in addition to its already existing 88 megawatts.  With this, TRANSCO CLSG General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif says Monrovia yea the entire country will have an unimpeded power supply from the source to the destination where there will be no power fluctuation.

Heavy transformers have been installed with transmission lines run from the station to the various parts of Monrovia and elsewhere, and the control room well equipped.  

Touring the Mount Coffee substation on January 23, 2021 with a team of journalists from various media institutions, Mr. Sherif assured that in the last week in February TRANSCO CLSG will begin commissioning the various substations across the country. This landmark achievement that is to alleviate Liberia’s power woes came through the support of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the German Development Bank (KFW) and the European Investment Bank.

The main source or station for this 1,303-kilometer regional power project covering Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is in Man, La Côte d’Ivoire, and there are four substations in Liberia including the Yekepa substation in Nimba County, Botota in Bong County, Buchanan substation in Grand Bassa, and the Mount Coffee substation, the biggest of the stations.

Donors of the project divided the substations in their sponsorship; the African Development Bank’s sponsors the lines from Mahn in Côte d’Ivoire to Yekepa and then N’Zérékoré, Guinea; the World Bank from Yekepa to Buchanan; the European Investment Bank covers Mt. Coffee to the border with Sierra Leone; and the German Development Bank supporting the Yekepa, Botota, Buchanan, and Mount Coffee substations.

Yekepa substation will supply Nimba County and N’Zérékoré in Guinea, Botota supplying Bong County, Buchanan supplying Grand Bassa County, part of Margibi County, Rivercess County and the southeast, and Mount Coffee supplying Monrovia, extending to the bordering counties in the west.

This power development, Mr. Sherif said, will ease the burden Liberians are encountering in different quarters around the country.

“Electricity as a result of the project will be affordable and reliable for the ordinary people.  This means that students will be able to read, hospitals and schools will be able to run on electricity, market women will be able to store their products in freezers, and direct foreign investment coming into the country will have hope and cost of production will be significantly reduced,” Mr. Sherif said.

He added that if customers are paying US$0.30 now for current, the price will drop below this amount and the majority of people in the country will afford to have electricity.  Also, the General Manager said all villages along the lines 5 kilometers away will be electrified as long as they are in areas where the lines are passing.

On the issue of power fluctuation that power users encounter with the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s supplied lines, Sherif said it is sometimes a technical fault especially when 1KVA volt supposed to supply 50 persons and 200 persons are using it. 

This mainly comes with power theft that has been at the center stage of electricity supply since power was restored in post-conflict Liberia.

General Manager Sherif addressing the press

Mr. Sherif, however, said when the facility is turned over to the LEC, the management will be able to best regulate it to avoid fluctuation that comes with power theft, but with the double circuit of 486 Mega Watts they are bringing, it will be difficult to encounter power fluctuation as it is with the 88 Mega Watts that LEC supplies currently.

The CLSG electricity networks interconnection project involves the construction of a 1,357-km-long double circuit high voltage (225 kV) line to connect the national networks of the four countries and comes with an estimated overall cost of US$500 million.

The need assessment of the project brought to the fore the socio-political crises that affected Liberia and Sierra Leone, leading to the destruction of the public electric power infrastructure of both countries—and owing to the low levels of investment in the sector in recent years, the power infrastructure has become obsolete with the attendant outcome of extremely poor quality of service.

The construction of this line is part of the backbone of the Mano River Union countries and the priority projects of WAPP’s Master Plan.

The project, according to Mr. Sheriff, will help establish a dynamic electric power market in the West African sub-region and secure power supply for participating countries that have a comparative advantage in importing power rather than producing it at high costs using their national systems.

Without the contribution that a government must make, donors cannot attempt to make any fund available to this project. 

Against this backdrop, the Liberian Government under the George Weah Administration has done all it can to ensure that the project runs speedily as it did.  The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG in this regard commended the government so much for meeting up with its responsibility to allow the project to reach at the height it has reached and to give the assurance for commissioning by the end of February.

“We want to thank the government, especially the Minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah, who worked hard to make the Legislature to ratify the agreement leading to the project.  It was through the effort of the government that the World Bank made available the remaining fund of about US$52 million that came to be an additional cost of the project after Ebola,” Mr. Sherif said.

12 COMMENTS

  1. THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER FOR THE PEOPLES OF LIBERIA AND MARKETS PEOPLES AND THE PUBLIC’S CONFIDENCE NOW.
    TO GOD BEING GLORIFY AMEN AND TO THE PRESIDENT GEORGE M.WEAH ADMINISTRATIONS AND THINGS ARE COMING TO LIBERIA NOW.
    IT TAKE A VILLAGE AND YES WE CAN IF WE ALL LIBERIANS WORKS TOGETHER TO BUILD A NEW NATION OF LIBERIA NOW. NOT THE PRESIDENT GEORGE M.WEAH ADMINISTRATIONS BUT FOR ALL LOVING PEOPLE IN LIBERIA AND ABROAD TOO. JUST WAIT UPON THE LORD YOUR GOD, HE WILL GO BEFORE YOU AND HE WILL NOT LEAVE OR FORSAKEN YOU AND GOD KEPT HIS PROMISE.

  2. Thanks be to the former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf because even though her tenure had ended before she could complete this project, but she also deserves a thank you for her efforts in initiating it.

  3. Can the average Liberian family(Household) afford monthly bill for the electricity?
    Let’s do some basic calculations based on the average household of four people with two bed rooms, 1-living room, one dining room and a kitchen and a bath, each having a 60 watts light bulb, 1- stand fan for the living room only (1/3 HP = 559 watts-minimum), 1-120watts TV. 1 -Refrigerator about 200-watts hours per/day. (At the rate of 0.20/KWH. Note the current price (030/KWH US dollars. 0.30KWH.
    6-60watts for 8 hours/day = 6*8*60 = 2880/100 = 2.880KWH/day.
    1-stand fan for 8hours/day = 559*8 = 4472/1000 = 4.472KWH/day.
    1-TV for 12 hours/day = 120*12 = 1440/1000 = 1.44KWH/day.
    1-Refrigerator 24 hours = 200/1000 = 0.2KWH/day
    On an average of 30days/month, the cost for this family will be
    (2.880+4.4472+1.44+0.2) *30 *0.20cents = $29.80 US dollars. Can an average family afford this monthly Bill?
    Solution: Raise the standard of living for all employees. This is just an excise and is in no way a solution to the problem.

  4. Liberia will be at the mercy of Cote D’ivoire. This is not a free lunch. It must be paid for. If Liberia doesn’t pay, Cote D’ivoire will have every right to shut-down the electricity. Liberia has no money. Unemployment stands at 80 percent…

    • Mr. Freeman,
      You are seeing right because you are a leader. I encourage you to join hands with progressivists to help build the foundations of our dear country Liberia.
      We have had ONLY ONE leader in Liberia, the rest of them have been selfish rulers.

      Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and most African countries were independent just in the 60s,but have harnessed their rivers to produce electricity with the view of becoming industrial while Liberia keeps begging for bread from the hands of dodgy lenders.

      We have the Cavalla River (515km), Cestos (476km), St. Paul (450km), Moa (425km), St. John (282km), etc. but have not been able to use them to stabilize electricity production in Liberia for industrial purposes and even export power to other young countries. I am ashamed to see my country, independent since 1847, buying electricity and contracting labor forces from the Ivory Coast, Ghana, etc.

      Mr. Freeman, you need to let go all fears and join us (ANC) to bring change to our country Liberia at the dawn of 2023.

    • Mr. Freedman, I am an Ivorian living in Europe.
      TRANSCO CLSG is a very important project for sub-regional integration.
      The day when we Africans will have understood that there is strength in unity, then our people will come out of poverty.
      Contrary to what you say, Liberia will not be at the mercy of the Côte d’Ivoire.
      Liberia is already importing electricity to Cote d’Ivoire through a small low-voltage (30 IV) power grid for Liberian border towns and this is going very well.
      Côte d’Ivoire has been supplying electricity to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina and Mali for years and has never been cut off due to lack of payment.
      Does Liberia have to go into debt with hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars to build hydroelectric dams, which will also swallow up a lot of farmland?
      This cheap electricity is also for the poor in the villages, who will be able to install LED bulbs in their houses to light up at night, charge their phones and listen to the radio.
      Those who have more means (cocoa or oil palm farmers…) will be able to install televisions and refrigerators in their homes.
      With Ivorian electricity, foreign investors will be able to set up their factories in major Liberian cities such as Monrovia and Buchanan, creating jobs for Liberians.
      The second stage of this sub-regional integration will be the common currency, and I hope that here again, President Georges Weah will still be proactive and incorporate the vision of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara, which is to create a new stable currency in place of the CFA to facilitate trade between our brother countries.
      This Ivorian electricity will create wealth in Liberia and will enable the export of these manufactured goods to your neighbors in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire.
      Unity is strength!
      Thank you.

      • Sylvian; greetings! Unity does not mean, Cote D’ivoire will/should supply free Electricty to Liberia/Liberians. I don’t believe, any of Cote D’ivoire’s neighbor-countries is receiving free electricity; needless to say Liberia. You bet! When the bill comes due, Cote D’ivoire makes demands for payment. It has already happened once or twice. Check it out; to convince yourself. At the moment, Liberia have Electric-Generating capacity of 149 Megawatts. That’s pretty-much adequate for now. However the problem is, the buildings are not equipped for 220-230 voltage @50 Hertz. Besides, we have enough brand new Transformers, left over from our previous system. Yet/again, those brand new Transformers are not designed for 220-230 voltage at 50Hz. Imagine, if Cote D’ivoire had to re-wire all buildings to switch to a new system. Won’t that be very expensive? As a matter of fact, Liberia has ample potential to produce surplus cheap electricity. I’d rather we produce our own electric-power; than to rely on another country. *Any major electricity problem in La Cote D’ivoire, will definitely be Liberia’s problem.

        • Brother Freeman, what is this story of gratuitousness?
          In no country on this planet earth is electricity produced and delivered to consumers for free!
          Electricity is a commodity, like rice, meat, palm oil…, which cannot be produced and delivered for free.
          The Ivorian Electricity Company (CIE) will put its expertise at the service of its Liberian counterpart, the LEC to effectively fight against electricity thieves, who believe that electricity is a free product!
          These are private companies that produce electricity in Cote d’Ivoire and they are not philanthropists.
          This surprises me on behalf of a Liberian; you who swear by the great America, country of wild capitalism.
          You make me laugh when you talk about your national production of 149 MW. This production that you boast about is so ridiculous on the scale of a whole country.
          In 2019, the production capacity of Côte d’Ivoire was 2229 MW and with the projects in progress and those planned, it aims at 4000 MW of electricity. By 2025, the electrification rate will be 100% in Côte d’Ivoire; all Ivorians, even in the most remote villages, will have access to electricity.
          With TRANSCO CLSG, Liberia will import 243 MW from Côte d’Ivoire; that is a 300% energy supply voucher.
          The production of electrical energy will therefore no longer be a concern for the development of Liberia. The new challenge of the Liberian government will be to make its population benefit from this cheap electricity; by electrifying the villages; by increasing the electrification rate from 11% at present, to why not 100%, as in your Ivorian neighbors and this, within the next 10 years!
          You can’t make omelettes without breaking eggs; this story of a frequency of 60 Hz versus 50 Hz in all your neighbors, is the price to be paid by the minority of 11% of Liberians who currently have access to electricity, to the benefit of the majority of the 89% of Liberians who live, as in the Middle Ages, in total darkness.
          You are the only ones in our sub-region to use this 60 Hz electrical frequency, a heritage of the USA; it is therefore up to you to conform to the standards of the majority; and not the other way around.
          The Managing Director of TRANSCO CLSG, Mr. Mohammed Mulibah Sheriff is a Liberian, so he cannot be against the interests of his own country.
          Many Liberian electrical engineers have been involved in the implementation of this sub-regional project, they cannot plot against their own people either.
          You say that you prefer Liberia to produce its own energy; your chauvinism is really very funny.
          You have been independent since 1847 (174 years) and according to your own figures, you produce only 149 MW; whereas we Ivorians, in 60 years, are at more than 2200 MW.
          TRANSCO CLSG does not prevent Liberia from producing electricity; but, I think that Liberia has other priorities; especially in the field of education, health, road infrastructure, access of the population to drinking water…
          The war is no longer a pretext to justify your economic backwardness; we too have experienced war in Côte d’Ivoire and I know what I am talking about, since I was Technical Advisor to the Ivorian Minister of Defense for 15 years, including during the war years.
          Dear Liberian brothers, it is now time to put an end to your 174 years of life in autarky; there is not only the USA as a country on our planet; get out of Liberia for a while and visit the Ivory Coast; you will become aware of your backwardness; you will then stop whining about false problems in order to seriously get to work!
          We Ivorians, can help you; especially in the field of higher education, agriculture…
          Learn French; because, we have good engineering schools and excellent hybrid plants of cocoa and oil palm with high yield, resulting from our agronomic research.
          President Weah is a visionary; he is very open in terms of cooperation between sister African countries. He is currently paving the road between Sanniquelle-Logatuo-Côte d’Ivoire border.
          In less than 5 years, I will retire in Côte d’Ivoire; I will then be able to go on a road tour to Monrovia, with a stopover in Gbarnga; as I used to do when I was going to do tourism in Ghana, to get rid of the stress linked to the war. On my way to Liberia, I would have to find quality hotels with luxurious air-conditioned rooms; hence the need for Liberia to have reliable and sufficient electrical power.
          West Africa first !
          Thank you.

          • Wow! Sylvain; you are so good at promoting Cote D’Voir’s commercial interest. You’ve written a lengthy commercial. However, Liberia has ample potentials; to generate her [OWN] cheap and surplus electric-power. We can not afford to be at the mercy of another country. I’ve not boasted of Liberia’s current capacity. Let’s get it right. You are the one boasting and already degrading Liberia/Liberians. All I’m saying, we have 147mw available for now. However, we can not readily deliver that available power; for the mere fact that our buildings are not adequately equipped. You bet! Major buildings will have to be re-wired and re-equipped. Hey Pal, that’s not cheap. *When Rich-Japan had a similar problem with one of their big islands, they chose to keep the(previous) available system in place; forgot about uniformaty. Why? Because of the high cost and possible fire hazards. Just as the colonial powers did for their colonies, The United States modelled Liberia after their-own system. I see nothing wrong with that.

  5. So interesting to start my day today by reading from Henry Freeman (a Liberian) and Sylvain (an Ivorian).

    By the way, where are the CDCians? I did not see you partake in this intellectual exchange of mutual nationalism.
    Did you read the quality of English from Sylvain? Can it be compared with most of our so-called intellectuals using vituperations on this blog? I expected to see the old and deranged “Vieux Con” False Nationalist.
    Are you guys only good at vituperations (ma and pa “causes”)? Anyway, your days at the Executive Mansion is numbered.

    Comrade Freeman, Sylvain is not boasting. He is telling you the truth about his country. I live in his country and I can confirm everything he has said about it.
    The Ivorians are ambitious people. Like the Europeans, they search for regional markets to buttress their economy to provide a better livelihood for their people.

    Initially, they received electricity from Ghana. Today, they supply to Ghana and all the other countries he (Sylvain) rightly named. They want to supply quality and stable electricity to Liberia, which, to me, is detrimental to our pride, security and independence. What are we, Liberians, doing to thwart their ambition?

    As much as Weah can be ambitious, as Sylavain has underscored, he can NEVER truly work in the interest of Liberia, given his intellectual limitations and his surroundings.
    Cote d’Ivoire will very soon have urban trains plying its cities and suburbs while we (Liberians) are still witch hunting (killing of the 4 auditors).

    The Ivorian brother has admonished us to look around neighboring countries for our development, improve on French teaching to send students to attend good schools in Cote d’Ivoire and learn to copy technologies from Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. This indeed, is a clarion call to which I strongly associate my voice.
    Liberia is a dirt and shithole country; I am not proud of my country independent since 1847. We should have brought development and civilization to the sub region, instead the sub region is bringing development and civilization to us.

    I studied, worked and now running my own business in the Ivory Coast. Had it not been for stupid political wrangling in this country, it must have been on par with most north African countries.

    Let’s pack Weah and begin a sustainable development process in our country. It is a shame to import electricity from Cote d’Ivoire, my people. Stop stealing from yourselves to be deposited in the USA.
    I find pleasure driving over the weekends in any Ivorian village to amuse myself, let’s do likewise in our country.

    • Mr. Dolo; thanks! I’m pleased, to learn and to inform you that with technical assistance from The U.S, renewable energy; especially from wind and the sun is being made available to rural Liberia. My source tells me, the intended purpose is to produce 500mw of clean, cheaper and environments friendly electric-power; within the shortest possible time. In Central Rural-Liberia, the breeze is constant; day and night, very much ideal for the largest wind mills, each capable of generating 1Mega Watt at a very reasonable cost. Besides, there’s plenty of free🌞 sunlight in Liberia; for solar power. I don’t see any reason-why we should be stucked with the old and clumsy way of generating electric-power. Where there are needs, we will go Hybrid. This is the 21st century. It requires 21st century technology. Kind Regards! Pal. My fellow citizens; “We Will Over All Prevail”. Liberia, “The Lone Star Of Africa” will rise and shine better than ever before.

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