energy infrastructure
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Head of states for four west African countries including Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, gathered for the launch of the cross-border electricity link.

cross border electricity link
Pres. Johnson Sirleaf and her counterparts perform the ground breaking ceremony. Pic credit: TRANSCO CLSG

Last week, the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson, led the historic ground breaking event of the energy project, where she was joined by her counterparts from Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma and Guinea President Alpha Conde.

A press release, issued by the TRANSCO CLSG highlighted that the cross-border energy supply between the four countries will support economic development, reduce the need to use expensive generators and allow existing and future hydropower projects to benefit the region.

Cross-border electricity link, transforming economy

TRANSCO CLSG is a special purpose company established to implement the cross-border electricity link between these four West African countries.

In her opening remarks, President Johnson said: “As many of you know, as ECOWAS proceeds to transform our economy, power has been identified as one of our main constraints.

“For Liberia, power is the one thing that has made a difference in the deterioration in the quality of life in all areas, as power supports education, health, industry, security and the comfort of life.”

The President maintained the CLSG project will bring to the beneficiary countries a big relief and that for those countries emerging, it will enable them to move at a faster pace in achieving their development goals. Read more...

“As we break grounds, all four us as leaders of the CLSG countries, give to TRANSCO CLSG our fullest commitment and support to see that this project moves as quickly as possible in reaching the goals that have been set,” she said.

Access affordable electricity

Director-General of TRANSCO CLSG, Mohammed M. Sherif, commented: “Once operational the CLSG Interconnector will ensure that communities across Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea can access affordable electricity. Hard work by African and international partners over recent years has ensure essential technical and financial preparations based on international best practice could be completed and the construction phase of the scheme to proceed.

“CLSG Transco looks forward to continuing this close cooperation over the years to come.” Sherif added.

[quote]The project is a multinational investment operation and is financed by four donors namely, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the KfW and the African Development Bank.

The four beneficiary countries have provided counterpart contributions for the payments of resettlement action plans and interest accrued during construction.

Regional cooperation

“Access to energy is crucial to enable economic opportunities and ensure access to basic services. The European Investment Bank is pleased to have supported the transformational CLSG Interconnector project for more than ten years and congratulates Transco CLSG at the occasion of the historic ground-breaking ceremony,” the European Investment Bank Vice President, Ambroise Fayolle, stated.

Fayolle continued: “This scheme will improve the lives of millions of people across West Africa and provides an example of how regional cooperation can strengthen sustainable development that can be followed elsewhere in the world.”

The European Investment Bank is providing a €75 million ($84 million) 25-year loan, while the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund is also providing grant funding totalling €27 million ($30 million) that will support technical assistance for engineering, feasibility studies and rural electrification.