The Government of Cote d'Ivoire has availed 83 megawatts of electricity for sale to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
This was disclosed to pressmen Tuesday by officials of TRANSCO Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG), which is a regional electricity project powered by the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP).
Jigba Yilla, Director of Finance and Administration at TRANSCO CLSG, said they have capacity to transmit 500 megawatts of electricity to the three countries from their base in Cote d'Ivoire.
He disclosed that TRANSCO CLSG officials last week embarked on a visitation to seven districts through which transmission lines would run from Ivory Coast to supply the three countries. He further disclosed that they came with nine pre-qualified firms that would embark on the construction exercise once the work starts.
Even though the bid was advertised in local newspapers, he said no Sierra Leonean firm applied. This, he said, is probably because of the US$400,000 and technical criteria set for firms that bid for the contract to construct the transmission lines.
He however expressed optimism that when TRANSCO would put out the bid for the civil works Sierra Leonean firms would apply, even though they might not lead the project.
"The TRANSCO CSLG project is divided into segments that have Lots 1&2 in Liberia and Lots 3&4 in Sierra Leone," explained Mr. Yilla. "The Lots in Sierra Leone is funded by the European Investment Bank."
He noted that the Government of Sierra Leone was in great support of the project because of the poor electricity situation in the country, adding that TRANSCO CLSG, which has its headquarters in Cote d'Ivoire, has a country office in Sierra Leone with the appropriate staff.
Pakidame Kolani, Environmental Coordinator of TRANSCO CLSG, said 194 hectares of vegetation would be destroyed in Sierra Leone in order to make way for the transmission lines, noting though that some 119.4 hectares would be reforested.
In March this year, he said, TRANSCO would commence a sensitisation campaign to warn people not to construct new houses along the corridor of the lines.