President Ernest Bai Koroma has official launched the project for urgent improvement of electric power supply systems in Freetown.
In launching the project, yesterday at the new primary substation in Regent, President Koroma thanked the Minister of Energy and Power Haja Afsatu Kabba for her hard work, commitment, and dedication towards the implementation of government’s policies and plans for the provision of sustainable electricity supply for the country.
He said that, he had made a pronouncement that energy is our number one priority and these 10 megawatts will augment and increase the generation capacity of electricity in areas of distribution in the country.
He added that, the steps taken by his government will bring more facilities in this area when electricity is brought to the area.
President Koroma stressed his idea of attitudinal change noting that the success of any nation particularly such underdeveloped countries as Sierra Leone depends on the citizen’s positive change of attitude.
He called on the General Manager of the National Power Authority (NPA) Dr Zubairu Kaloko to ensure that his institution becomes more pro-active since they are the legitimate implementers of the project.
The Head of State warned contractors that if they fail to perform their contract, they will not only be penalized but that he will stop those contractors from getting any further contracts.
Dr Koroma admonished the youths to protect the site and transmission lines because they are very expensive, adding that the substation is the nerve system to transport electricity.
In her statement, Haja Afsatu Kabba said that the government of Japan through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is providing assistance to implement “The project for urgent improvement of electric power supply systems in Freetown”.
She explained that the Project implementation agreements for phase one were approved in Japan in February 2008.
The Minister continued that phase one of this project will provide construction of a new 33 km transmission line (Wilberforce to Regent), 11 km transmission line (Kingtom to Wilberforce via Congo Cross) and 11 km transmission line (Falconbridge to Blackhall Road).
Speaking about the second phase, the Minister revealed that phase two of this project is a new primary substation in Regent.
The project will provide electricity to the entire Western Rural Area and also improve on the distribution network and capacity to transport Bumbuna power to the area.
This project will be completed in February 2009.
Haja Afsatu Kabba disclosed that the Japanese grant provided for phase one of this project is $5.0 Million and phase two is $16 Million. Sierra Leone government contribution is $165,000.00 to the entire project.
NPA the minister further explained is currently providing funding representing Sierra Leone government contribution to start the project implementation activities.
She stated that the Ministry of Energy and Power is supervising the project implementation, NPA is the implementing Agency, and the project consultants are Yachiyo Engineering Company in Japan.
The main project contractors for Phase one are Adder Value and Takaoka Engineering Company from Japan and the local contractors are Sky Construction and Decon enterprises.
Speaking to one of the local contractors Sky Construction Kwasi Bernard Jones said the work will be completed within eight months.
A resident of that area, Jonah Jones said that for some years now there has been no electricity in Regent.
He stated that they were happy for the development and we will give their full support to it.
By Abibatu Kamara