Liberian President Sirleaf launches AfDB-funded power grid project to supply electricity to Mano River Union nations

29/06/2017
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Liberian President Sirleaf and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara after launching the AfDB funded power grid project

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf along with her counterparts from Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Guinea, broke ground for the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) interconnection project, on the sideline of the high-level ECOWAS Heads of State summit in Liberia, held Sunday 4 June 2017.

The launch kick-started physical construction activities of the 1,303 km transmission line and substations in the four Mano River Union (MRU) countries that constitute the CLSG. The CLSG interconnection is part of the backbone of the MRU countries and a priority project of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Master Plan.

“As ECOWAS proceeds for transformation of our economies, power has been identified as one of our major constraints. Power supports education, security, health, industry, and the comfort of life. The project will enable our nations move at a faster pace in the achievement of our Sustainable development Goals. We, the Heads of state of the beneficiary countries commit our full support to the success of this project,” President Sirleaf underscored.

Speaking on the occasion, the Bank’s Chief Power Engineer, Amadou Diallo Bassirou explained that the project was in line with the New Deal on Energy for Africa as implementation of the transmission line will support the development of the hydroelectric power potential of the MRU countries in pooling the different energy sources.

“The project will allow the exchange of electricity among West African countries and beyond. It will help establish a dynamic electric power market in the West African sub-region and secure power supply for participating countries which have a comparative advantage in importing power rather than producing it at high costs using their national systems”, he added

About the CLSG Project

The project consists of three components: (i) the construction of the 225 kV transmission line of 1303 km in length; (ii) the strengthening of the capacities of the secretariat of the WAPP and national electricity utilities of the beneficiary countries; and (iii) the electrification of rural communities located along the line. Feasibility studies of a few hydroelectric power plants intended to develop the hydroelectric potential are also planned.

The project will cost 331.51 million UA, and is co-financed by the African Development Bank Group (128.15 MUA), World Bank (88.57 MUA), the European Investment Bank (61.98 MUA), KfW (26.27 MUA), the EU/Africa (8.55 MUA) and Governments (17.99 MUA). The works are expected to be completed in December 2019.

Governance and operations

Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea agreed to establish, a Special Purpose Company (SPC) for the financing, construction, operation, development and ownership of the electric interconnection line (CLSG). The SPC, TRANSCO CLSG was established and has been operational since end of 2015. The share capital is owned equally by the national power corporations of the four countries.

About the AfDB's New Deal of Energy for Africa

The New Deal on Energy for Africa, together with the inter-connected flagship programs is a top initiative of The Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Sector Complex (PEVP). The New Deal on Energy for Africa aims to light up and power Africa. Launched in 2016, the New Deal has the aspirational objective of achieving universal energy access in Africa by 2025.

The Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Sector Complex (PEVP), was created to fulfill the objectives of "Light Up and Power Africa" – principally achieving universal access to electricity by 2025. The Complex will accomplish this by building Africa's energy systems while ensuring green growth. The entire development ecosystem for operational effectiveness, scale, socio- economic, and environmental impact will be taken into account.