Energy Minister launches the CLSG project
Wednesday 23rd July 2014 marked another milestone in Sierra Leone’s energy sector as the new Minister of energy – Amb. Henry O. Macauley formally launched the much needed component of the Sierra Leone’s Rural Electrification of La Cote De’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea (CSLG) energy network known as the West African Power Pool (WAPP) at the African Development Bank in Freetown. (Photo: Minister Henry O. Macauley.)
In his concise but well determined statement before launching, the Minister gave a flashback of the President’s Agenda for Prosperity in his second term, noting that the energy sector is still a priority. He reminded all present that electricity is no doubt the cornerstone of development in any country as it is just unavoidable in all facets of life. Like he said in Parliament, Minister Macauley kindly asked citizens not to politicize electricity as it leads our nation’s development. He further appreciated the effort of the African Development Bank, West African Power Pool, ECOWAS and other stakeholders for the project.
The representative of the African Development Bank – Mr. Yero Baldeh in a statement said the energy network of CSLG entails the construction of a 1,357 km long with a double circuit high voltage of 225 kv. He continued that this energy network is for four countries – La Cote D’Ivoir, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Mr. Baldeh briefed stakeholders that added to the social and economic aspects of electricity supply, the project will help fosters trade development among states.
The Bank’s representative expanciated the role of the Bank in providing technical support from the feasibility up to the appraisal stage, contributed to the preparation of the project agreements and the Bank’s intervention in facilitating and mobilizing a huge amount of resources from other donors. He furthered that the project has a 500 million US dollars and the Bank is funding Sierra Leone’s component with 200 million US dollars, the component is sub-divided into two parts – The D & T by private companies and the Rural Electrification by the public body of the Ministry of Energy.
The Director of Energy – Ing. Benjamin kamara who chaired the launching gave a brief overview of the WAPP/CSLG project which he said was established by ECOWAS member states in 2006. He said the master plan in which member states were divided into zones rests in the ECOWAS office adding that Sierra Leone has 7 Districts to benefit from the line across the country.
Ing. John Kabia of NPA who serves as the focal person for the project in Sierra Leone further explained the zonal aspect, funding and mandate of the project. Kabia as the brain memory of the CSLG project ended that the formal launching of the project was to him like a dream come true.
By Ahmed Fonike
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