Home Economy LEC set To Invest US$31m in Southeastern Electricity

LEC set To Invest US$31m in Southeastern Electricity

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), has signed a contractual agreement that will facilitate the expansion of its electricity grid networks to Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh Counties in the Southeastern region of Liberia.

The agreement was reached between LEC and the Quality Group & Albedo Energié JV (LibEnergié).
According to LEC Acting Chief Executive Office, Prof. Monie R. Captan, the public-private venture will enable the provision of electricity in all three counties for over 250,000 beneficiaries.
“This effort is directly in line with LEC’s core mandate, which is to provide adequate and reliable electricity to the entire nation,” said Captan who once served as Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“On many occasions, I was invited to the Legislature along with the Chairman of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission,” said Captan when he spoke during the agreement signing ceremony held in Harper City, Maryland County recently.

“During these visits, the Legislature always reminded us of the need to hire a private company to manage this portion of the Cross-Border grid. What is happening here today, is in response to recommendations from the people and in keeping with President George Weah’s mandate to decentralize electricity across the country,” he explained.
These three power grids make up the “Cross-Border Project”, a Rural Electrification initiative through the LEC, with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the governments of Liberia and the Republic of Ivory Coast.

With a 9.3-million-euro funding from the European Union (EU) in 2010, a total of 311 kilometers of transmission lines were constructed in Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland Counties.
To date, Bong and River Gee Counties have been added to this power arrangement.

Management of the grid in Nimba County has, since late 2017, been contracted to Jungle Energy Power through a contractual arrangement with Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).

Bills due the Ivory Coast over the past years have skyrocketed; while revenue collection is far from adequate to meet Liberia’s growing debt which now stands around US$12 million, he disclosed.
“Let me say that electricity is not free, just how life is not free,” said Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo, Chairman of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC).

“In life there are consequences for every choice that you make. Good or bad, it’s a consequence. To the people of Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh, let’s take advantage of this opportunity in order to provide sustained electricity for our people,” he stressed.
The recently constructed Pleebo-Fish Town grid network was made possible with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union (EU).

This came about through a request from the Government of Liberia with the aim of connecting additional 7,332 households in Maryland and River Gee. This US$31.8 million project is under the Liberia Energy Efficiency Access Project (LEEAP).
“On behalf of Albedo, we extend our warmest regards to the people and local authorities of Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh. Thanks also to LEC and LERC for their support leading up to this signing ceremony,” said Maïssa Diagne, CEO Albedo/LibEnergié.

“It is an honor for us to be a part of the development of this country called Liberia. Our mission here is to ensure that these three counties have access to reliable energy,” she stressed.
Results from LEC’s engagements with authorities and ordinary citizens in these three beneficiary counties are overwhelming.

All three Superintendents and citizens of Maryland, River Gee and Grand Gedeh, are in full support of this arrangement and are hoping this will bring employment opportunities, social transformation and economic benefits to Liberia’s Southeastern region.
Speaking during the ceremony, Maryland County Assistant Superintendent for Development, Robin Scott, who spoke on behalf of Superintendents from all three counties, assured LEC and LERC of the local authorities’ commitment and fullest support in ensuring a successful implementation of this power arrangement.

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