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Lagos Blue Line rail project may not be ready until 2022

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Indications have emerged that the Lagos Blue Line rail project may not be ready until 2022.

Following a comprehensive review of the rail project, which ought to have commenced passenger operation but had been hindered by unforeseen third party issues and other challenges, the State Government said the Marina to Mile 2 section of the project known as the Blue Line Rail, would now be ready for passenger operation by 2022.

Details of this development form part of the revelations made at the signing of a major agreement between the Lagos State government and Alstom SA of France on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) project. The exercise is a renewed effort to rev up the multi-modal transport system in the State.

Officials of the State government had noted that consultants it engaged to carry out a technical review and due diligence on the implementation of the project, which substantially had focused on civil works, and reported back to government that operation of the first phase may only commence in 2022.

Speaking at the signing of the agreement with Alstom SA, Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mr. Abiodun Dabiri, who signed on behalf of the State Government, said the partnership was the result of the commitment of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode towards the transformation of public transportation in the State.

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According to him, “Based on the final report submitted, the consortium of Alstom Transport SA France has been engaged for the procurement, engineering, construction, installation of Operation & Maintenance (O&M) moveable infrastructure and commissioning of railway systems towards the commencement of passenger operations for LRMT Blue Line project from Marina to Mile 2.”

“For this purpose, a track length of about 3.0 km from Iganmu Station to National Theatre will be electrified. This operation would be done with the rolling stocks already supplied for the Blue Line project.

“This phase would allow the completion of all the preliminary works that would lead to the financing of the main works in Phase two. Phase one will be fully financed by Lagos State Government through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

“Phase two, which is expected to be completed in 39 months, would entail the provision and installation of railway operations’ systems for the project from Marina to Mile 2 and the delivery of a passenger-ready Lagos Blue Rail Line by 2022,” he said.

Responding, Mr. Guy Jean-Pierre, a Director of Alstom SA, thanked the State Government for the confidence reposed in the firm and the opportunity given to partner with the State on the Blue Line Rail project.

He assured that Alstom would work to ensure the delivery of the Blue Line to passenger operation by bringing on board required expertise and experience in rail system management.

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Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, TotalEnergies, discuss over gas project

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Discussion on the humanitarian situation in the Cabo Delgado area in Mozambique is ongoing between The head of TotalEnergies and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi.

TotalEnergies’ chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanne had visited the Cabo Delgado area to review the security and humanitarian situation, and Pouyanne had met the Mozambique President during his trip.

The multinational revealed that it has engaged Jean-Christophe Rufin, whom it said was an expert in humanitarian action and human rights, with an independent mission to assess the humanitarian situation in Cabo Delgado province.

Pouyanné said, “since 2021, the situation in Cabo Delgado province has improved significantly, thanks in particular to the support provided by the African countries that committed themselves to restore peace and security.”

“The mission entrusted to Jean-Christophe Rufin should enable Mozambique LNG’s partners to assess whether the current situation allows for a resumption of activities while respecting human rights,” he added.

A force majeure’ was declared in 2021 on TotalEnergies’ Mozambique LNG project, valued at $20 billion, due to regional unrest after an insurgent group linked to Islamic State attacked the northern town of Palma.

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Sierra Leone, Liberia, 2 others, receive $311 million from World Bank for renewables

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Four West and Central African countries are set to receive aid worth $311 million from the World Bank after signing an agreement that would improve renewable energy projects.

The countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, and Chad will receive funds will finance around 106 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation capacity with battery energy and storage systems, and a 41 MW expansion of hydroelectric capacity.

Commenting on the development, Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, who presided over the signing ceremony on Wednesday, said the deal was the beginning of a revolution in energy supply and access in the respective countries.

“We are paying far more for energy now than we were 18 months ago. Very high and rising energy prices continue to have an adverse impact on other sectors of our economies,” Maada Bio said.

The World Bank’s Director for Regional Integration, Boutheina Guermazi said the project was the first time four countries had been brought together for a regional energy approach.

“It is a continental approach to make sure that we reach universal access to clean affordable energy by 2030,” Guermazi said, adding that the project would be completed in four years.

The West and Central sub-regions of Africa have one of the lowest electrification rates coupled with some of the highest electricity costs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Under a new World Bank Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project, the West Africa Power Pool, a regional approach to improve electricity in the sub-region, will also receive some funds approved in December.

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