Moroccan Power Generation Company (ONE) has signed a one-year corrective Action Plan agreement for the power sector with the National Power Authority (NPA). Minister of energy and power, Lloyd During who witnessed the signing ceremony last week, said since the Moroccans came they had been working without any “spelt out agreement” on the specification of their work pattern and any other contribution they could make into the economy. In an exclusive interview with Awoko newspaper in his office, he said the signatures put on paper last week before President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and the management of ‘ONE’ was meant to formalize the agreement between both nations’ power giants aimed at improving the power sector in this country. “If you recall, the King of Morocco promised to help us as a result of the friendship that exists between him and President Tejan Kabbah. That guarantee alone was worth $5m in kind which was why he sent the technicians from ONE to come and help us out. When they came they brought a lot of equipment along including cables and 300 street lights as part of the agreement signed by the general manager of NPA.” He refuted fears in some quarters that last week’s signing ceremony at the President’s Lodge was not an indication that NPA had already been willed into the hands of the Moroccans, adding that government would not out rightly sell the place without a mutual agreement.
He noted that the National Privatization Commission (NPC) had been set up to work out a suitable contract for the ultimate privatization of NPA soonest.The minister commended the camaraderie of the Moroccans whom he said had made up their minds to arrange a “donor conference” to get some non-traditional donors like the King of Saudi Arabia and others to contribute to the beefing up of the power sector of the nation.
According to the minister, the Arab Bank backed by BADIA and some Saudi funds had decided to supply three massive generators worth (7.56megawatts) generators to the government. He said they would equally get some funds for the supply of fuel for one year to the country, adding that traditional friends of Sierra Leone included “India, China and Morocco”According to him, “JICA from Japan has also offered to supply two generators towards the development of the power sector in the country and would be ready by 2008 or 2009”.
“We are also expecting support from IDB towards the purchase of fuel worth between $5m and $10m because the government has been struggling with fuel supply to keep the thermal generation at least for the street lights on in the capital,” he noted.
Also speaking exclusively to Awoko, the deputy general manager of NPA, Patrick Tarawalli said the Badia/Arab Bank’s intervention would be used to mount another generator at Blackhall Road to increase thermal power supply to the eastern area of the capital.
He said, “NPA is bent on using any available source of power to ensure that the power supply in the country is revolutionized by the introduction of pilot solar power systems into difficult parts of the country like Bonth which are in a desperate position for power supply”.
“We intend to explore all the potentials of the country to ensure that there would be lots of power generation in the country besides Bo and Kenema which have been enjoying some form of power outside Freetown,” he stated.