The Sierra Leonean Minister of Energy, Mr Oluyimi Coker, yesterday called on his Ghanaian counterpart, Mr Emmanuel Amarh-Kofi Buah, in his office to activate a two-year old memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which the Ghanaian government is to provide technical assistance for the management, operation and maintenance of the power system in Sierra Leone.
In accordance with the MoU, Ghana is to assist in the development and preparation of preventive and corrective maintenance and operational systems for the efficient management of the power system in that country.
Ghana is also to “provide training in engineering, maintenance and operation of the power system in that country and build capacity in engineering, operation and maintenance of hydro-electric and thermal plants, auxiliary equipment and transmission and distribution of infrastructure for the evacuation of power to load centres”.
In addition, Ghana is to assist in the development of appropriate safety regimes for the operation and maintenance of the power system and assign selected expertise in the engineering, operation and maintenance of the power system in Sierra Leone.
The MOU was signed by the ministers of energy of both countries in 2010 but no move had been made by both parties to implement the agreement.
Article Five of the MOU states: “All reasonable expenses, fees and charges arising out of or in connection with the execution of the scope as provided in Article 2 of this MoU shall be charged to the Government of Sierra Leone and where the cost is prefinanced by the Government of Ghana, the Government of Sierra Leone shall reimburse the Government of Ghana on such terms as will be agreed between the parties.”
Sierra Leone currently has an installed capacity of 96 megawatts of electricity generated from both hydro and thermal sources.
Mr Coker described Ghana as a “leader” in the power sector in Africa from which Sierra Leone could benefit immensely as far as the issue of power generation was concerned.
He also said Ghana was a “giant” in the area of hydro-power generation and gradually establishing itself in the area of thermal power and could provide the assistance that Sierra Leone needed.
He added that his country lost 50 per cent of the power generated as a result of faults in the system and inefficiencies; a situation which had led to load management.
Ghana’s help, he said, would be invaluable.
Mr Buah, for his part, said Ghana had 75 per cent electricity penetration; the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, apart from South Africa, and was ready to share its expertise with its neighbours.
“We will co-operate fully with them and revive the MoU. We will put a team together to assist them to address the power challenges,” he added.
Source: Daily Graphic