The New Dawn (Monrovia)

26 October 2012

West Africa: Ellen Signs WAPP Agreement

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described the signing of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) as very important to Liberia, not only for its direct benefits from electricity, but its partnership and solidarity that implies among Mano Rivers countries.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the West African Power Pool Thursday, the Liberian leader stressed that it will help rural dwellers here to also have access to electricity.

The West African Power Pool (WAPP) was created by Decision A/DEC.5/12/99 during the 22nd Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in order to address the issue of power supply deficiency within West Africa.

President Johnson Sirleaf Thursday received a high-powered delegation from the West African Power Pool (WAPP) to sign the international electricity Line Treaty in ECOWAS states.

The delegation was led by acting Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Mrs. Betty Lamin Blamo.

According to Minister Blamo, the revised Master Plan for the Generation and Transmission of Electrical Energy was approved by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government through supplementary Act A/SA. 12/02/12.

She also noted that the project entails the construction of 1,360 km of 225 KV Transmission Line from Cote d'Ivoire to Guinea via Liberia and Sierra Leone. Madam Blamo noted that communities that are affected include land to be acquired (sub-station, access road and towers and clearance of the Right-of-Way.

She said it will include compensation to be paid to 1,634 households by the respective governments of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast for the following categories of losses, including residential land and structures, land acquired for roads and towers, agricultural land with perennial crops, agricultural lands with non-perennial crops and potential agricultural land, among others.

The acting minister noted that the total WAPP project costs 323 Million Euros to provide electricity for the Mano Rivers countries.

Also speaking at the ceremony, West African Power Pool Secretary General Amadou Diallo disclosed that the power in Liberia will have four sub-stations, adding that one will be in Buchanan, another in Nimba, while the other two will be in Mount Coffee and Montserrado, respectively. He said the WAPP will effectively give out electricity in 2016, after all constructions or connections in the beneficiary countries.

The West African Power Pool was guided by a steering committee, comprising Energy Ministers of ECOWAS Member States, supported by a Project Implementation Committee, comprised of Managing Directors of Members States utilities and Technical and Institutional Working Groups.

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