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Statement by His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma On the occasion of the Commissioning of Phase I - Japanese Grant Project for Urgent Improvement of Electric Power Supply Systems in Freetown
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Jun 12, 2009, 17:28
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Statement by His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma On the occasion of the
Commissioning of Phase I - Japanese Grant Project for Urgent Improvement of Electric Power Supply Systems in Freetown

Construction of Regent Primary Substation and the 11kV/33 kV Transmission Line
Thursday 11th June 2009, 9:30AM

Salutations

I am pleased to be here today to commission the Regent Primary Substation and the 11kV/33kV Transmission Line which were constructed through the Japanese Grant Project for Urgent Improvement of Electricity Power Supply systems in Freetown. This marks another important milestone in the efforts of Government to provide electricity supply to the people.

It is almost a year ago when I launched this project. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to be called upon to commission the completion of the first phase of the work today. This indicates the efficient and timely manner in which this project was implemented and demonstrates the professional expertise of the Japaneses consultants, contractors and their local partners. I congratulate all the project staff, the Ministry, NPA and Japanese counterparts for their excellent performance in completing this project on time.

I have been very much interested in this project since its inception, when I placed the earth rod on this site in June last year and have been receiving regular updates on the progress of the project. It is amazing that we are already here today in June this year, to commission the completed works of the first phase of the project when the contract for the project was awarded only in February last year. I understand that this first phase is to be followed soon by the 2nd phase which is a 10Mega Watts power house undergoing construction in Kingtom. The 10Mega watts power plant will add considerably to the generating capacity in Freetown and supplement power supply from Bumbuna during the dry season.

The accomplishment of this first phase project and gift to the people of Sierra Leone reinforces the strong bilateral relations between our two Governments and Peoples and demonstrates the support from Japan in our energy sector. My Government acknowledges with satisfaction the support from the Government and people of Japan through JICA, not only in the energy and water sectors but also in Youth Employment, Agriculture and other technical training programmes to strengthen our human resource capacity.

Energy remains a Top Priority in Governments Agenda for Change programme, especially in the development tripod along with Agriculture and Infrastructure. I believe the multiplier effect of adequate and reliable energy will impact on all sectors of the country and revitalize the economy and improve the standard of living of our people. This project will facilitate the supply of electricity to the Rural Western Area and also improve the distribution network and capacity to transmit electricity from Bumbuna power station to the local communities.

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, my Government remains very much committed to implementing its energy programme throughout the country. To this end, the utilization of hydro electric power and other forms of renewable energy such as solar power will be vigorously explored especially for the electrification of rural communities. Government will therefore encourage the development of appropriate technology and solicit support from our development partners to work with national institutions, the private sector and non governmental organizations to create access to electricity for the rural communities.

It is now my pleasure to invite Ambassador Katakami to join me in performing the commissioning and inspection of the substation facilities.

Thank you.

***********


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