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The Director General of the Electricity Distribution and Supply Agency or EDSA Dr. Joe Lahai Sormana has at the Ministry of Information and Civic Education weekly press conference, dilated on the issues around energy supply in the country generally, and Western Area in particular. The Director General started his brilliant exposè by drawing a line of distinction between EDSA and EGTC, which came about as a result of a 2011 act that unbundled the former power authority, the National Power Authority. He said that EDSA’s partner agency EGTC is responsible for generation and transmission of power, and EDSA is tasked with distribution and supply.

The soft spoken DG revealed that electricity access nationally was about 16% in 2018, but presently, electricity access has doubled to about 36%.
Dr. Sormana disclosed that power generation in Sierra Leone since 2018 has improved significantly and that there’s high demand for energy as a result of the increased production. He said in 2018, EDSA supplied Freetown only about 52mw of power with a customer base of about 194,000. Currently, EDSA supplies about 72mw of energy to Freetown with an increased customer base of about 320,000.

The DG expounded on the challenges posed by the improvements in energy distribution and supply, saying that the high demand for light has had attendant consequences on the network. Dr. Sormana said that the actual amount of peak power demand for Freetown is about 120 to 130 megawatts but that the current infrastructure can only safely uptake 70 to 75 megawatts. He furthered that there is only one transmission point for power which is the Kingtom 161 and that is managed by EGTC. Therefore when that line is disrupted, there is no alternative transmission point, adding that until the light from there is sent to them, it is not yet EDSA’s light.

Dr. Sormana showered praises on the government of President Julius Maada Bio for cushioning the challenge of paying for energy in the country. He said EDSA buys light from all their sources, that is Karpower, CLSG and other IPPs at approximately 21 US cents, but sells to the public at about 18 US cents. Meaning from the onset EDSA runs at a loss but that the government has cushioned that effect on them by chipping in financially.

The DG wrapped up his presentation by bemoaning energy theft and the lack of willingness on members of the public to expose energy thieves. He appealed to the public to cooperate with the authority in curbing energy theft and vandalisation of electricity materials.