(06). sierra leone, apendicies to the SoW.pdf


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− Ministry of Energy – The Ministry has the mandate of overseeing policy formulation,

planning and coordination.

− Electricity Generation and Transmission Company (EGTC) – EGTC became operational
in 2015 following the completion of the unbundling process and is in charge of generation
and sale of power to the main distribution and supply entity in the sector. EGTC also
manages the high voltage transmission network infrastructure.

− Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) – EDSA became operational in

2015 and is in charge of the low voltage distribution network, and retail sale of grid-based
power in the country.

− Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) – The Commission is in charge of
technical and economic regulation of the power utilities. The Commission gives licenses,
sets electricity rates and ensures service quality for consumers is enhanced through
performance standards and monitoring.

− Public-Private Partnership Unit (PPPU) – The PPP Unit was established in 2014 and has
the mandate to promote and facilitate private sector transactions in infrastructure in the

− Ministry of Finance – The Ministry is a key actor and provides subsidies to both

government-owned generation and distribution utilities. Sector deficit is financed by the
Ministry through the main government budget. The Ministry also manages the interim
collections accounts that seeks to create a platform for financial sustainability in the sector.

− Ministry of the Environment – The ministry provides direct technical and operational

support and advice to its departments and agencies on general environmental and climate
governance decisions, including for formulating policy, initiating environmental projects, and
collating data on environmental performance. It oversees the work of the Environment
Protection Agency (EPA), where the Climate Change Secretariat is housed. The Ministry
also oversees climate-related functions performed by the Sierra Leone Meteorological
Agency (SLMet) where the country’s UNFCCC Focal Point is based.

− Environmental Protection Agency – EPA issues permits and licenses in respect of

environmental assessments conducted by public and private sector institutions looking to
initiate new projects or improve or expand existing investments. The EPA Act (2008)
provides a legal framework for managing the interaction between human environments and
environmental resources.





The Electricity and Distribution Supply Authority (EDSA) is the single distributor of electricity in
the country and manages several isolated distribution networks throughout the districts in all five
provinces. It does not, however, operate in all the districts. Its operational areas by province and
their access to electricity evaluations are shown respectively in the two tables below:

Table 1

EDSA’s operational areas by province1

1 GoSL-EDSA Due Diligence and Private Sector Participation Strategy Report, 2021.

Table 2

Districts in Sierra Leone with access to electricity1

1 GoSL-EDSA Due Diligence and Private Sector Participation Strategy Report, 2021.

The distribution network comprises of equipment with voltages ranging from 33 kV to 11 kV and
0.415 kV. The assets are mainly 11 kV overhead lines and underground cables, low voltage
lines, transformers with transformation ratios of 33/0.415 kV and 11/0.415 kV.


The existing infrastructure in the distribution system operated by EDSA includes approximately:

— 9 primary switching substations with voltage capacities of between 161/33 kV and 33/11 kV;

— 101 km of 11 kV overhead lines; 176 km of 11 kV underground lines and 33 km of 33 kV


— 297 11 kV transformer units;

— 420 km of 0.415 kV Low Voltage (LV) lines; and

— 930 km of secondary lines servicing customers across Freetown and its environs.

The following figure shows the full transmission and distribution network.

Transmission and distribution network map (existing and planned)

EDSA’s distribution network is classified mainly into primary substation and interconnector
assets and distribution assets. The primary substations and interconnector assets include the
primary substation transformers, 33 kV overhead lines, 33/11 kV switchgear equipment and
transformers and 11 kV interconnectors (overhead lines and underground cables) (GoSL-EDSA
DD and PSP Report).

Figure 1


The network is considered weak, inefficient and vulnerable to both climate risks and vandalism.
The main distribution network in Freetown in the Western Area province serves approximately
85,000 customers of EDSA with a peak demand constrained to approximately 74 MW (NRECA
Preparation of the Electricity Network Investment Plan – Draft Final Design Report, 2016).

Over the years EDSA’s networks has been upgraded with funding from the World Bank to
provide it a capacity of 85 MW however, its capacity remains constrained. Further investments
are required to upgrade and densify the system which currently features limited primary
substations and overloaded and inefficient equipment including the transformers, poles and
ancillary plant. Consequently, the system experiences frequent system outages. The general
unreliability of the network is compounded given EDSA lacks the resources and logistics to
respond within a reasonable amount of time to the faults.


The system losses experienced throughout the distribution network are among the key factors
contributing to EDSA’s financial distress, with the company unable to independently finance its
operational expenses and as such relies heavily on grants and government subsidies. Between
the years of 2018 and 2020, EDSA had average system losses of 48.0% compared to an
average of 11.7% across low-income Sub-Saharan African countries. EDSA also had average
collection losses of about 12% during the same period contributing to total losses over the
review period averaging to approximately 60%.

Currently, EDSA management has no system in operation to accurately measure the actual
technical losses. Aggregate distribution losses in the past four years, for which data is available
has averaged 41% as shown in Figure 1. Load flow analysis done by EDSA indicates that about
40% of all losses are technical losses whilst the remaining are due to poor commercial and
billing practices. The key drivers of the technical losses in the distribution network include the
congested and overloaded 11 kV transformers in the communities. Preventive maintenance is
rarely conducted and there is also limited availability of meters at feeder and distribution
transformer levels. The analysis of future losses data during the load flow study will be an
important factor in the justification of the Compact.

Figure 2


EDSA Quarterly Distribution System Losses 2018 – 2021 (%)

The commercial losses, however, are caused mainly by illegal abstraction of power, large
number of faulty pre-paid meters, shortage of meters, poor billing and collection practices for the
16,462 post-paid consumers, poor technical monitoring and enforcements and the growing
number of unserved and unplanned communities that are impatient for the network to be
extended for their areas and thus resort to illegal means of tapping power. Acts of theft put
additional strain on an already overstretched network which further exacerbates its poor
performance and reliability.

Given the unreliability and poor quality of the power supplied, customers or potential customers
are either forced to augment or fully circumvent EDSA using costly alternatives, this is
especially prevalent amongst commercial users. According to a World Bank report, 70% of firms
report owning diesel generators as either a primary source of power or a back-up in the event of
blackouts or outages, supplying nearly 50% of their power needs (World Bank, 2021).

In 2020, it was discovered that a significant amount of Le 5.4 billion has been lost by a practice
whereby EDSA provides free power tokens to members of the Board of Directors and
Management staff. With no system to track and account for how much power each customer
had consumed over time (in kW/h and Leones) or the ability for billable customers to acquire the
tokens, these had to all be accounted for as collection losses.

The trend of decreasing customers interruptions and average down time on the network is
encouraging and will require continued efforts to improve the customers’ quality of service.

The latest EDSA report illustrates the SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index),
SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) and CAIDI (Customer Average Interruption
Duration Index) key performance indicators (KPI) recorded on the network, see Table 3 for

Table 3

EDSA outage occurrence and number of customers affected (2017 to
June 2021)1

1 GoSL-EDSA Due Diligence and Private Sector Participation Strategy Report, 2021.

The means to improve the reliability of any electrical network must address 3 types of actions
that affect the determining factors of reliability indicators:

— Reduce the frequency of interruptions;

— Reduce the number of clients affected by interruptions;

— Reduce the duration of interruptions.



Currently, the electricity access rate in Sierra Leone is estimated to be around 23%, one of the
lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as among its per capita income peers around the globe.
Moreover, the absolute number of people without any form of grid and off-grid electricity as the
population grows