TRANSCO CLSG Set To Energize The Transmission Line Interconnecting Cote D’ivoire With Liberia, Sierra Leone And Guinea in February

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MONROVIA – TRANSCO CLSG, a supra-national transmission company that is interconnecting Cote d’Ivoire with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea says it is prepared to energize the transmission lines in February this year.

The project is intended to create access to affordable and stable electricity to the CLSG beneficiary countries by energizing the CLSG interconnection line and begin commercial operations during the year.

The General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif has been inspecting CLSG project sites to ensure contractors are implementing the project in line with their contracts and to ensure the project is accelerated to meet commissioning schedule next month.

During the inspection tour which kicked off on Thursday, January 7, 2021, the General Manager inspected final construction activities at the Man substation in Man, Cote d’Ivoire. The substation is critical as it is the main source of the energy transmission. He also inspected the substation in Nzerekore, Guinea on Friday, January 8, 2021, where intensive civil works are ongoing.

“I am impressed,” an elated General Manager said following his inspection tours. He confirmed that final construction works are ongoing at the Man substation, which according to him will be ready to energize the transmission to Liberia in February.

Mr. Sherif disclosed that significant progress has been made in the construction works of the CLSG interconnection project, with an actual overall completion rate of 89% since the end of November 2020. He said further progress has been made since then.

He explained that the construction of the section of the transmission line from Man (Cote d’Ivoire) through Liberia to Yiben (Sierra Leone) is almost complete. Three out of five substations in Sierra Leone and four out of five substations in Liberia have reached completion stage and that the SVC (Static Var Compensator) which is used primarily for reactive power support and voltage control at Man substation has reached completion stage.

“Given our target to begin commercial operations in February 2021, Management solicit the support of members of the Board, utilities and CLSG countries to ensure that this tight deadline is achieved.”

– Mohammed M. Sherif, General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG

The SCADA Back up on the Man substation site is nearly completed as well. SCADA is an acronym for Supervisory Control and Date Acquisition which is used to monitor and control of the plant. “Inspection of the facilities and the pre-commissioning tests have started,” he disclosed.

The General Manager furthers that while TRANSCO CLSG continues to make significant progress in the construction of the transmission line, management was constrained to push back the commissioning date of the line to February 2021 due to the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the project. He said in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, management engaged the EPC Contractors and deployed a recovery plan to ensure that the new commissioning target is achieved.

Mr. Sherif assured that despite these challenges, the project has achieved critical milestones including the completion of construction works for the entire transmission line segment from Man to Monrovia. He disclosed that the overall project progress rate is estimated at 89% as at the end of November 2020.

“Critical works to connect the CLSG substation with the existing substation at Mount Coffee were delayed as experts from China were not able to arrive on site as planned. However, he disclosed that full connection with Cote d’Ivoire network at Man substation is being done.

In another development, the General Manager of TRANSCO CLSG has disclosed that significant progress has been made in the negotiations of the revised Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and the Transmission Service Agreements (TSAs) with CLSG member countries and is confident that they will be endorsed and signed before the end of January 2021.

“Given our target to begin commercial operations in February 2021, Management solicit the support of members of the Board, utilities and CLSG countries to ensure that this tight deadline is achieved,” Mr. Sherif said.

Sherif said TRANSCO CLSG has signed the contract for the temporary (Operations and Maintenance (O&M) operator with the CIE, an Ivorian Electricity Company (COMPAGNIE IVOIRIENNE D’ELECTRICITE), covering the transmission line section from Man to Monrovia while the tender process to recruit the permanent O&M operator is on course.

He said the contract with the CIE became effective on November 10, 2020 (signed on October 7, 2020) and that the O&M personnel are being deployed as arranged with the management following a joint assessment of the works on the fields.

“We are currently negotiating with CIE to extend their scope to cover the line section from Monrovia to Bumbuna in Sierra Leone. This will enable Management of TRANSCO CLSG to estimate load flows based upon firm commitments, complete the update of the Business Plan and Financial Model, and submit the final report to the Board for approval in March 2021.”

Mr. Sherif furthered that TRANSCO CLSG has plan to conclude negotiations with CIE to extend their assignment to include the section from Monrovia to Bumbuna and recruit the permanent O & M (Operations and Maintenance) operator by June 2021.

The General Manager thanked the Governments and people of the CLSG countries for their unflinching support in the implementation of the CLSG interconnection project, which according to him will bring sable electricity to improve energy access with the Mano River basin and beyond.

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