By Austine Luseni
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, has officially connected Koidu Holdings Ltd. to the CLSG grid, stressing that it was time for other large-scale mining companies to espouse President Julius Maada Bio’s call for the productive use of energy by bucking the Koidu Holdings trend.
It could be recalled that on October 8,2022, the Ministry of Energy and Koidu Holdings Ltd. signed a Power Purchase Agreement, PPA, to enable the company take energy from the CLSG grid for industrial use.
Welcoming the Minister and his team, Paramount Chief of Tankoro Chiefdom, Paul Saquee, thanked the Minister on behalf his colleague paramount chiefs who were present at the ceremony and described the occasion as historic and transformative.
He thanked the Government of Sierra Leone for providing a safe and reliable electricity for his district, adding that Kono had been placed at the center of attention of the New Direction administration’s policies and programs.
While doing the formal connection to the CLSG grid, Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, praised Koidu Holdings for taking the bold step and lead, adding that the company was the first to take electricity beyond the normal borders of just providing domestic electricity.
He said the commissioning ceremony was in fulfillment of President Bio’s desire to support industries and companies with industrial electricity with a view to enhancing foreign direct investment.
Mr. Sesay said Koidu Holdings had led by example, with their move forming a catalyst for other companies including but not limited to Sierra Diamonds, Wongo Mining, Marampa Mines and Meya to ask for a similar mutually beneficial agreement and partnership.
“Today, we are here to complete the protocols. We have already started the test cases, and it is going to be today that the company will be officially connected to the CLSG grid,” Mr. Sesay remarked.
Director General of EDSA, Abu Kamara, said electricity was synonymous to development and praised the efforts of the Minister of Energy in working on the President’s energy aspirations especially in the areas of expansion and mini grids. He called on stakeholders in Kono to own and protect the facilities.
General Manager of Koidu Holdings, Rocco Vermeulen, said his company was more than delighted to be the first mining company to be connected to the CLSG grid, describing the ceremony as a foundation for showcasing Sierra Leone for foreign investments.
He said the partnership that had been formed between his company and the Ministry of Energy would be strengthened and sustained.
Earlier on, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Tamba Gbetuwa, gave an overview of the program.The energy sector reforms continue.