Four Western African countries have broken ground for a new 1,303km electricity interconnector project built with an investment of €370m.

The four countries include Liberia, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone, which are all part of the Mano River Union with the interconnectivity project expected to help them out with access to reliable and affordable energy.

Dubbed as CLSG Interconnector, the project developed by Transco CLSG will see the first ever cross-border energy supply through a new transmission line and substations. It is anticipated to help in the economic development of the region while cutting down on the need to use high-cost generators.

Further, the CLSG Interconnector would enable hydropower projects, whether existing or to built in the future to benefit the region.

Transco CLSG director general Mohammed M. Sherif said: “Once operational the CLSG Interconnector will ensure that communities across Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea can access affordable electricity.

“Hard work by African and international partners over recent years has ensure essential technical and financial preparations based on international best practice could be completed and the construction phase of the scheme to proceed.”

The energy project will be assisted with a 25-year loan of €75m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) apart from funding from the African Development Bank, World Bank and KfW, and the respective governments involved.

EIB VP Ambroise Fayolle said: “Access to energy is crucial to enable economic opportunities and ensure access to basic services. The European Investment Bank is pleased to have supported the transformational CLSG Interconnector project for more than ten years and congratulates Transco CLSG at the occasion of the historic ground-breaking ceremony.

“This scheme will improve the lives of millions of people across West Africa and provides an example of how regional cooperation can strengthen sustainable development that can be followed elsewhere in the world.”

Another notable funding coming for the CLSG Interconnector project is the €27m grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund. The grant is expected to support feasibility studies, assistance for engineering, and electrification in rural areas.

Image: African country heads along with officials at the ground breaking ceremony of the CLSG Interconnector project. Photo: courtesy of European Investment Bank.