President Sirleaf Signs Treaty Connecting Liberia to West African Power Pool (WAPP)
(MONROVIA, LIBERIA- October 25, 2012) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed the Treaty paving the way for the connection of Liberia to the West African Power Pool (WAPP). In doing so, the President expressed Liberia’s fullest support to the project, calling it an outcome of an important partnership.
The President, elated, stated, “I will personally send a word of thanks and appreciation to the Chairman of ECOWAS for making sure this sub-regional dream comes to reality.”
The project, worth an estimated 323 million Euros, is expected to “light up” Liberia from four power stations along the Liberia-Sierra Leone border, to be located in Yekepa, Nimba County; Buchanan, Grand Bassa County; Monrovia, Montserrado County; and Mano, Grand Cape Mount County.
The focal point of the Power Pool, the ECOWAS Commission on Energy, reports that the project will provide 325 KVA of electricity and will stretch over 1,360 kilometers of Liberian land, with the capacity to provide electricity to rural communities in the various regions. This initiative will also make Liberia, for the first time in its history, an exporter of energy, with Sierra Leone and Guinea as beneficiaries.
According to the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, along with the Government of Liberia, which will be providing US$145 million, international financial organizations, such as the World Bank, the European Bank and the African Development Bank, have all agreed to help fund the project which is expected to be fully commissioned by 2016.
Dabire Bayaoribe, Director of ECOWAS Energy Commission, pointed out that phases of the project, beginning with Yekepa, would be ready for use well before the completion date of 2016. Initially planned for the year 2020, he said the project was brought forward due to the increased demand for energy in the sub-region. As to the economic benefits, he said that the project is expected to greatly reduce the cost for energy and, at the same time, support business and economic growth in general.
Other members of the ECOWAS delegation were: the Secretary-General of WAPP, Mr. Diallo Amadou; the Director of Planning, Mr. Momodou N’jie; Senior Legal Advisor Lago Daniel; and Legal Advisor Barry Karamule.
The supply line to the WAPP already connects Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and will now include Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The signing of the WAPP Treaty follows a similar ceremony held on Wednesday, October 24, when President Sirleaf signed the Project Protocol, which must be ratified by the Liberian Legislature. The Protocol highlights the procedure and institutional role of partners in executing the WAPP project.