His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has engaged a high-level delegation from the Egyptian energy producing company, El Sewedy Electrometer, where he promised to provide the conducive environment for investments in Sierra Leone.
During the meeting at the Haqyatt Resort, Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, Chairman and CEO of the company, Engineer Emad Z. Elsewedy, said his company had been to Sierra Leone once during the meter installations in 2004, a project he described as their opening to Africa.
He said they were specialised in producing and distributing energy as well as collecting electricity bills, adding that the lack of adequate monitoring in the collection of electricity bills had been a challenge in most African countries, which also affected their production levels.
Mr Elsewedy also stated that they were ready to come to the country, not only to manage electricity networks but also to transfer their skills and knowledge to Sierra Leoneans. He maintained that his company would be of great help to the energy sector in the country, especially by generating more power for the people, adding that they had the capacity of producing 6,000 meters annually.
“Ineffective collection of energy revenue has been a huge challenge in most African countries we have been to. This is even affecting the production level in some countries because if the cash flow does not improve, the production level would also be affected. We have a 24-hours’ system to detect any illegal tampering of electricity that we connect through GSM. This system increases both the cash flow and transparency levels,” he said.
On his part, President Bio said he was happy to meet the leadership of the electricity producing company. He said over the years Sierra Leone had faced challenges in the electricity sector which he hoped to address within the shortest possible time. He added that his government was determined to produce a lot of energy that would be able to supply households as well as companies operating within the country.
He disclosed that the country had challenges not only in the production of energy but also in its distribution and metering, which he said needed to be addressed urgently. He assured that Sierra Leone was open for business and that his government was ready to open the space for credible investments that would benefit the country.
“Energy for us is very important because we want to provide enough of it at a sustainable level for our people. We are interested in the proposal for the meter billing because we want to establish a proper system on the management around collecting the revenues we make in the energy sector. We encourage you to come into our country and we will look at the financing models involved so that it will be done on mutual benefits,” he said.
The El Sewedy Electrometer is an Egyptian energy producing company that innovates new technologies, metering solutions and services that support its customers across the globe to overcome their operational challenges, improving the rate of revenue collection, reducing the level of non-technical losses as well as managing their consumers load during peak hours. The company has its facilities in Africa in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Zambia respectively and also in India, Brazil, and Mexico.