By Lansana Fofanah.
Ahead of today’s formal signing ceremony for the supply of 30MW of electricity by the Karadeniz Powership Kaya Bey Company Limited, the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay on Saturday 2nd June went on an inspection tour of the Karadeniz Turkish Powership.
Leading a team of high powered delegation from the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), the Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) and officials from the Ministry of Energy, the Minister said that this government came to power at a time when the main source of electricity; the Bumbuna Hydro Electric Dam was facing serious challenges in a country whose population has grown and the demand for electricity has increased.
“The electricity situation in the country has given His Excellency the President a sleepless night and each time there is a blackout I had to be called for an answer…I reopened negotiations with the already anchored Turkish Powership in order to solve this problem as we are already running out of excuses”, the Minister said.
He called on both EDSA and EGTC to be sincere and honest in making sure that the Thirty Megawatts from the Turkish Powership are utilized in the best interest of consumers.
Alhaji Kanja Sesay expressed dissatisfaction over the weak system of transmission and distribution system which he said needs urgent attention in order to fully utilize this facility.
The retained Solicitor for the Turkish company, Tuma Adama Jabbi said that their company is operating in countries like Ghana, Mozambique, Indonesia, Lebanon and The Gambia where they have been living up to the terms of their contracts.
She said that with the new policy of the New Direction which advocates for cost savings, government will be able to save US$ 9 Million yearly with this agreement when compared to the previous agreement negotiated by the APC government.
The Technical Manager of Karadeniz, Mr. Umut disclosed that this particular vessel was converted in to a Powership in 2009 with a capacity of 100 Megawatts. He said that it is one of the thirteen operational vessels owned by the company around the world.
Both EDSA and EGTC officials expressed delight over the Powership arrangement as the pressure on them from the public will from henceforth subside.
The Powership was tested on Friday night and the initial output proves to be reliable. The contract has been described as the best energy contract ever negotiated by the Government of Sierra Leone.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has given an executive clearance for the contract to be signed today.