The Secretary General of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) Amadou Diallo has said that, WAPP is a specialized institution of ECOWAS, created in order to address the issue of power supply deficiency within the sub region.
Mr Diallo who was addressing delegates from Cote d’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLSG) in a conference organized by WAPP at the Kimbima Hotel in Freetown yesterday, said that, “the main objective of WAPP is to establish a regional electricity Market in West Africa through the judicious development and realization of key priority infrastructures that would permit accessibility to affordable energy, to all member states of the ECOWAS”.
In order to achieve this objective, Mr. Diallo said that, Member States adopted a Master Plan defining Priority Projects, among which is the CLSG interconnection project.
The Secretary General explained that “the project comprises the construction of a high voltage transmission line of approximately 1,100 Kilometres with 12 associated high voltage substations”. He stated that, it is a vital project which will serve to establish a more secure and reliable transmission corridor for transfer of low cost energy from CLSG.
He stated that, it will also greatly reinforce the interconnection of WAPP Zone A and Zone B through Cote d’ Ivoire , thereby increasing opportunities for energy trading and the establishment of an ECOWAS regional power market. He disclosed that the estimated cost for implementing the project is € 200 Million as of 2004, adding that the implementation of the project is planned to be executed within the framework of the Adjustable Program Lending (APL4) of the World Bank.
Mr. Diallo disclosed that, the pre- investments studies have been launched and are expected to be completed by September 2009. The reason we have gathered here he said was to assess and adopt the necessary steps that will enable us to fast track the implementation of this vital project. During this meeting, Mr. Diallo pointed out that, they have to consider and adopt the experts report relating to the creation and establishment of a Joint Implementation Committee that will coordinate and monitor of the project.
In her maiden speech, the Minister of Energy and Power, Haja Afsatu Kabba welcomed the delegates saying that she was very delighted to host the conference and thanked Mr. Diallo and his staff at the WAPP secretariat for their commitment for being here actualizing what they thought of in Contonu earlier this year.
The Minister said that she is very happy for the interconnection within the member states, adding that with this move, it will help address the electricity problem within CLSG.
Having this conference here, she said shows that electricity pays a dividend, noting that the government of Sierra Leone has given top priority to sustainable electricity supply.
She thanked Mr. Diallo and his staff at the WAPP Secretariat for hosting this conference in Sierra Leone and extended greetings to the delegates on behalf of the President and people of Sierra Leone.
Haja Afsatu Kabba expressed the need for women to be part of the energy sector within member states.
By Abibatu Kamara