24- Hour Electricity For Liberia Likely Soon -As Transco CLSG Urges LEC To Complete Key Documents

The perennial electricity problem in the country which has negatively impacted on the economy and the general living conditions of the citizens may soon be issue of the past with indications that once the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) finalizes the documentation process with the Transco CLSG, the regional energy company will move in to provide 24 hour electricity supply to all parts of the country.

Rising from the TRANSCO CLSG  27th Board of Directors meeting on Monday, June 27, 2022 in Abidjan at the Company’s headquarters where all four CLSG countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were fully represented, the General Manager of Transco CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif called  on the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to move quickly and conclude all commercial framework documents to ensure unimpeded access to stable and affordable electricity through the CLSG line.

He disclosed that the Power Purchase Agreement negotiations between Liberia (LEC) and CI-ENERGIES are far advanced while the negotiations on the Transmission Service Agreement with TRANSCO CLSG have been completed. “It is our fervent hope, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Board of Directors, that LEC will come on board and complete all commercial framework documents to begin enjoying 24-hour electricity from the CLSG line.”

“We share the belief that the lack of access to affordable and stable electricity is a constraint to economic and national development. More electricity means more economic activities, better jobs, profitable private capital investments, increased manufacturing and technological capacity, increased food production, more innovation, better healthcare, education and better quality of life for the population. Therefore, we encourage Liberia to come on board very soon, join EDSA of Sierra Leone and EDG of Guinea to generate the required growth in the usage of the CLSG network.”, Sherif said.

According to information from the company, Sherif made the assertion when he delivered his statement outlining the progress and challenges in the implementation of the CLSG project which now stands at 97 percent completion rate before the board of the company, which was considering some major decisions to assess the challenges and prospects of the entity during the period under review.

“Over the years, the Board has demonstrated deep interest and commitment to our ultimate goal of delivering unimpeded and affordable access to electricity for the populations of our region. Based on this conviction, and with the full support of the Board and the tireless efforts of the staff, we have achieved another set of milestones recently in Sierra Leone and Guinea,” Mr. Sherif said.

The meeting was chaired by the Chairman of the Board Mr. Moumory Sidibe, who was recently appointed as the Director General of government energy company, CI-Energies.

 The Côte d’Ivoire-Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea(CLSG) Interconnection project is intended to integrate the four post-conflict nations into the same regional electricity market. Interconnecting these countries with Cote d’Ivoire would allow mutually beneficial exchanges of power and a reliable electricity supply necessary to facilitate economic growth, alleviate poverty and consolidate peace.

Although details of the agreement between the government and CLSG are not known to The Analyst as at the press time, but amid the concerns of the deteriorating state of electricity supply earlier this year, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning , Samuel D. Tweah, Jr said, the Weah government was slated to sign a power purchase agreement with the Ivorian government through the CLSG initiative and cough out $48 million to guarantee steady power supply throughout the rest of the year while at the same time deciding to remove the power distribution function from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and outsource the transaction to private investors for efficiency as one of the measures to exit from being a moribund government establishment.

Speaking on ELBC Breakfast Show and also aired on OK FM and other stations across the country, Minister Tweah spoke of progress being made to stabilize the Liberian economy but noted the deteriorating electricity supply in Monrovia that is seriously affecting businesses and homes.

The Finance Minister however said this option comes with a cost and it is a tough decision that Liberians should be willing to take.

“We are at the point where we have to make some tough choices and I want to inform the Liberian people right now,” he said further.

 “If we have to finally agree, that is the decision of the President, the national legislature, the Minister of Finance and other decision makers to make. To start with the CLSG, the government has to pay $10.4m upfront, the real cost of electricity from Cote d’Ivoire according to the negotiation we are having is $3.6 m per month. Out of the $10.4m, we have to pay 2 months at $3.6 m each making it $7.2m as security deposit. We have to sign the arrangement in a power purchase agreement (PPA) which is fixed and binding without taking into consideration any eventuality.”

He added: “Secondly, the government of Cote d’Ivoire says Liberia owes her $9m for the cross border electricity she has supplied to the country in Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland for the last two years and that LEC has to pay $2 m cash down and the rest of the $ 7m can be paid by a monthly payment of $550,000 until the debt is liquidated.

Whatever is the situation the latest development from CLSG will be received from the generality of the Liberian people especially the business community and other major institutions like hospitals, universities, etc whose activities are driven by steady electricity supply to remain afloat.

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