‘True Transformational’ – Liberia’s Mines & Energy Minister Hopeful of ⅞Transco CLSG Electricity Project

Liberia’s Mines & Energy Minister Murray stressed the importance of the Transco CLSG power transmission for the country

Monrovia – Liberia’s Mines and Energy Minister has described the ongoing Transco CLSG electricity project as a “true transformational project that will change the lives of millions of ordinary citizens in the sub-region”.

Minister Murry was speaking at the beginning of a World Bank-sponsored workshop for stakeholders of the electricity sector in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast. He said Liberia is grateful to Transco CLSG for the work and is “hopeful that the work will be delivered on time”. 

Transco is the West African Power Poll (WAPP) firm construction the high tension power line from Ivory Coast connecting Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. 

“This transmission line and substation are being built, but we now need to set in stone the soft part of the project,” Minister Murray told participants of the four countries attending the workshop in Monrovia.

The two days workshop has brought together stakeholders of power sectors from the four West African countries. They are focusing on how to build their capacity on Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and Transmission Service Agreements (TSA) contracts for the supply and transportation of electricity in the sub-region. 

Participants are major stakeholders of power sectors in Guinea, Sierra, Ivory and Liberia

The workshop started Friday, July 5 and will end Saturday, July 6.

LME Minister Gesler E. Murray also stressed that Liberia’s electricity sector is still “fragile” which makes the country to seek “help and advice” from experts that have gathered for the training.  

“We can build the CLSG line but we will only see the benefits when the power is flowing on time,” Minister Murray said while stressing the importance of stakeholders ensuring that the success of the project is realized for the long term.

“So we all need to exert every effort to make this work. I’m hoping that the challenges, as well as the benefits of CLSG, will all be discussed over the next two days.”

“We must also look to the future and CLSG is a critical first step; we need to look at what comes next – we’re enforcing the network with the coastline from San Pedro to Buchanan … all these are pivotal toward achieving the vision of Liberia becoming an energy hub with the capacity to export excess generation thereby making electricity export a foreign exchange earner for the Liberian economy.”

The Mines and Energy Minister also emphasized the “commercial viability of the CLSG transmission line” which requires a robust distribution network system considering the massive task involve.

Transco CLSG General manager Mohammed Sherif Speaking at the start of the workshop in Monrovia

Later, Transco CLSG Manager Mohammed Sherif said his organization is “happy that the workshop will discuss relevant issues that will serve as awareness for the project’s viability”.

“We are looking forward to the workshop to see how best it will strengthen our position in coming together in good terms,” Mr. Sherif said.

The World Bank is a major financier of the CLSG interconnection project and the workshop is a part of the Bank and WAPP’s support for the development of efficient regional energy trade in West Africa. 

The workshop targets the evolution of the electricity sector in the West African sub-region.

As the CLSG countries and TRANSCO CLSG are getting set to start trading electricity early next year, the World Bank believes that exchanging of knowledge and of best practices on doing PPAs and TSAs in the context of the WAPP could enrich the framework of reference for the countries soon to engage into exchanges of electricity through the CLSG transmission line.

The upcoming commissioning of the electrical interconnection between Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) is a turning point for national sectoral policies of the countries involved, and to ensure reliable electricity at the lowest cost. This forms an important link to the regional electricity market under WAPP.

Among the key workshop objectives include, placing the CLSG in a broader regional integration context of energy markets in West Africa; sharing recent cases and lessons learned on trade from other markets or regional power pools; and with this feedback, identifying basic elements of proper contracts that will promote sustainable and efficient trade in the regional market of West Africa.

The World Bank says given the nature of the workshop, it counts on the participation of TRANSCO CLSG executives and experts in the technical, financial and procurement aspects, which are key elements for the formulation of these contracts for electricity trading and the future use of the CLSG lines.

The first session of the workshop will present the CLSG project in the broader context of the WAPP regional energy market. Subsequently, the workshop will focus on the various technical, financial and legal aspects, that constitute the basis of these contracts. “We hope that this will result in useful exchanges, which could enrich the framework of references for the actual trade of electricity that will take place once the CLSG enters in operation,” the World Bank says.