Chief Minister Intervenes to Resolve Karpowership Payment

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By Amin Kef Sesay

The Chief Minister, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, orchestrated a high-stakes meeting at State House on the 24th April, 2024 in a bid to tackle the looming electricity crisis in Freetown. Present during the meeting were key stakeholders including the Minister of Finance, officials from the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) and the Country Representative of Karpowership.

Main thrust of the discussion was the escalating standoff between the Finance Ministry and Karpowership, revolving around a hefty outstanding payment of approximately US$46 million owed to the energy provider. With Karpowership’s deadline for payment looming, the Chief Minister emphasized the urgent need for a resolution.

Sources within State House revealed that the Chief Minister’s intervention has paved the way for a potential breakthrough in the impasse.

It could be recalled that last week, the Finance Ministry tentatively agreed to make a significant payment to Karpowership, aligning with commitments made by the Deputy Minister of Finance 1 and the Minister of Energy.

In anticipation of the deadline, Karpowership had threatened to reduce electricity supply, exacerbating the city’s ongoing energy woes. Currently, Karpowership provides 30MW of electricity to Freetown, a marked decrease from its previous 65MW capacity due to outstanding invoices dating back to last year.

President Bio, cognizant of the gravity of the situation, has set a deadline for today Friday April 26th, 2024 urging the Finance Ministry, Energy Ministry and EDSA to devise a lasting solution to Freetown’s persistent blackout or face decisive action.

The Chief Minister’s proactive involvement has garnered praise for its demonstration of resolute leadership in addressing critical national issues.

Meanwhile, the CLSG, another energy provider, faces similar challenges with reduced supply due to outstanding payments totalling US$18 million.

Despite the financial strain, Karpowership has demonstrated restraint by refraining from a complete shutdown, underscoring their commitment to ensuring minimal disruption to electricity supply.

As investigations into the matter continue, stakeholders remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of resolving the energy imbroglio and averting a prolonged blackout in Freetown.



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