ECOWAS delegation visits Senegal on regional electricity market

BY: Zadok K. Gyesi
Members of the ECOWAS delegation with top officials at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Senegal
Members of the ECOWAS delegation with top officials at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum of Senegal

A high-level ECOWAS delegation on Thursday ended its mission to Senegal where it met with key stakeholders in the country to officially inform them of the organisation’s readiness for the take-off of the ECOWAS Electricity Market.

The aim of the electricity market is to enable the member states sell their energy at commercial prices to attract investors in the ECOWAS sub-region.

Members of the delegation 

The delegation led by ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, Mr Sédiko Douka, included Chairman of ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), Professor Honoré Bogler; the Secretary-General of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), Mr Apollinaire Siengui Ki; the Systems Operations Manager of WAPP, Mr Honoré Sanou and ERERA’s Regulatory Council Member, Mr Aly Mar Ndiaye.

The delegation met with the Chairman and staff of Senegal’s national electricity regulator (CRSE), the leadership of Senegal’s national electricity operator, SENELEC and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

ERERA is the regulator of the West African regional cross-border trade of electricity and the regional regulator of cross-border electricity inter-connections.

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The main objective of ERERA is to ensure the regulation of inter-state electricity exchanges and to give appropriate support to national regulatory bodies or entities of the member states.

Similarly, they held talks with the heads of The Gambia River Basin Development Organization (OMVG) which members are The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Senegal, and the Senegal River Basin Development Organization (OMVS), comprising Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal.

Members of the delegation also made presentations at an international conference on “Energy for Development in Africa” in Dakar on May 3, 2018.

Mr Douka explained the need to harness the vast energy resources in the region to enable citizens in the member states access energy with its attendant benefits.

He said ECOWAS was doing exactly that through its dedicated energy institutions, including ERERA, WAPP and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) based in Praia and Cape Verde.

All set

Professor Bogler explained at the various meetings that ERERA has met the conditions necessary for the launch of the market, which is designed in three phases.

He said the first phase is transitional and is expected to end in 2020 with the commencement of the second phase.

According to him, ERERA has, among other documents critical to the launch of the market, approved market rules, a transmission tariff methodology and model cross-border standard contracts for the use of regional transmission networks.

WAPP’s Secretary General, Mr. Apollinaire Ki, stated that his institution is in charge of market operator functions through its Information and Coordination Centre (ICC) based in Calavi, near Cotonou in Benin.

In addition, he explained that besides the competitive trade awaited in the second phase, the regional electricity market rules also allow, among many others, the continued bilateral agreements on cross-border electricity sales between participating entities with direct payments between parties.

The delegation will next visit Guinea Bissau and The Gambia. It had earlier visited Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo.