Liu Zhenya Visits Three Countries in West Africa to Promote Energy Interconnection in Africa and Clean and Sustainable Development

Recently, Liu Zhenya, Chairman of GEIDCO, President of China Electricity Council(CEC) and member of Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences visited Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea. Mr. Liu met with Guinean Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana. He also had talks with representatives from Guinea’s energy authorities, power companies, Association of Power Utilities of Africa, West African Power Pool, the Senegal River Basin Development Organization and Gambia River Basin Development Organization. They discussed energy interconnection in Africa, the development and utilization of clean energy and sustainable development of economy and society. Broad consensus was reached.


Liu Zhenya meeting with Guinean Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana

GEI is composed of Smart Grid, UHV Grid and Clean Energy (Smart grid is the foundation; UHV grid is the key; Clean energy is the priority). GEI is a platform for large scale development, transmission and utilization of clean energy, which can help break the bottleneck for clean development. GEI can also help reach the goals of “Two Replacements, One Increase and One Restore” and provide the ultimate way out for tackling resource shortage, environmental pollution, climate change and enhancing power accessibility so as to promote sustainable development and build a community of shared future for mankind.

Mr. Liu pointed out that the core of sustainable development rest in clean development.Clean energy is an inevitable trend, and will replace fossil energy gradually. Africa is endowed with abundant resources and has a huge developmental potential. The priority in achieving energy sustainability in Africa is to tap into abundant and high quality clean energy resources. Accelerating the development of energy interconnection in Africa will not only enable different African countries to meet their own energy demand, but also built interconnected power network that connects countries, regions and even continents. We hope to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with relevant parties in studying, planning and project implementation, to jointly promote major clean energy bases in Africa and the development of cross-border power grid connection projects. These projects can translate Africa’s resource endowment into economic strengths and help realize energy transition and sustainable economic and social development.

Guinean Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana said in the meeting that the friendship between China and Guinea extends over a long history, and the bilateral energy cooperation has delivered great results. The Guinean government values and supports clean development. President of Guinea, Mr. Alpha Condé was elected by African countries as the coordinator of electrification and renewable energy. He is also Chair of the Board of Africa Renewable Energy Initiative. He actively promotes the utilization of clean energy in Africa and the interconnection of power grid. The Guinean government fully supports Chinese initiative of GEI, and Guinea is ready to play an active role in deepening cooperation with GEIDCO with an open mind and contributing to the goal of building GEI.


GEIDCO Delegation meeting with West African Power Pool

All parties showed great interest and support for energy interconnection in Africa. Dr Cheick Taliby Sylla, Minister of Energy and Hydraulics of Guinea, said that GEI is a visionary plan for global development. Guinea hopes to work with GEIDCO to discuss possible energy cooperation and promote the transformation from fossil fuel to clean energy. Cissee Sabati, Director General of Energy, Ministry of Oil, Energy and New Energy Development of Cote d’Ivoire, said the strategy of Cote d’Ivoire for power and energy development is highly in line with the concept of GEI. Cote d’Ivoire will honor its emission cutting commitment in the Paris Agreement and will step up its effort in developing clean energy including hydro power, solar power and biomass energy to speed up electrification. Abel Didier Tella, Director General of Association of Power Utilities of Africa, said that GEI is the largest and most innovative initiative of the power industry, which will bring about unprecedented development opportunities for African countries with abundant clean energy resources. Abel Tella also expressed the Association’s willingness to cooperate with GEIDCO in planning and research and contribute to the innovative development of GEI. KiSiengui Apollinaire, Secretary General of West African Power Pool said that the mission of WAPP is quite similar to that of GEIDCO. In the future, they will focus more on increasing the proportion of clean energy in installed capacity and connecting power grid of West Africa with that of other regions. WAPP looks forward to incorporate its work under the framework of GEI to promote the optimized allocation of affordable clean energy around the world. Lansana Fofana, high commissioner of the Gambia River Basin Development Organization said that GEI is a huge project for sharing and developing clean energy. West Africa is promotingregional grid connection and electricity trade programs. By jointlydeveloping hydropower resources, West Africa plans to build an integrated power grid that covers Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Guinea. The grid will be part of the West African Power Pool. Hamed Diane Senega, high commissionerof the Senegal River Basin Development Organization(OMVS) said that interconnection is crucial for the development of the energy and power industry. OMVS will promote interconnection between the power grid of Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. OMVS is willing to strengthen cooperation with GEIDCO to improve power infrastructure in the region and boost regional economy. Amb. Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman of the Board of Ghana Grid said that GEI paints a blueprint for mankind to share clean energy resources. Ghana is willing to participate in GEI which can supply large amount of power with less pollution and more competitive price to provide stable and continuous power supply for Ghana and other countries and to forge a global village where energy sharing is a common practice. Amidou TRAORE,General Director of CI-ENERGIE, said that they have launched projects to connect the country’s grid with neighboring countries. CI-ENERGIE hopes to cooperate with GEIDCO in planning, technology and projects to realize the goal of integrating African power grid and building intercontinental projects. Wale Shonibare, Director for Energy Financial Solutions, Policy and Regulation of the African Development Bank speaks highly of the GEI concept and hopes that ADB can leverage its resources to explore practicable business model and provide support for major power infrastructure projects like African clean energy base.

During his visit, Mr. Liu also visited Chinese embassy in Guinea and met with representatives from offices of Chinese enterprises in these countries to promote the concept of GEI and forge concerted effort in this regard.

Currently, GEI is already incorporated into the implementation of 2030 agenda and the outcome of the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting. GEI has now become a global consensus and action. GEIDCO has drafted and issued four major plans including that of the Global Energy Interconnection Backbone Grid(nine horizontal and nine vertical backbone grids), providing a package of plans and roadmap of action for the implementation of GEI.

African energy interconnection is an important component of GEI. GEIDCO has developed cooperation with institutions including the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and more than ten African countries including Egypt and Ethiopia. Many cooperation agreements have been signed to promote African power grid interconnection.