By: H. Richard Fallah
MONROVIA: The Management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has informed citizens across that country, that the regional electricity grid, Transco-CLSG Transmission Lines, is no longer able to supply Liberia with electricity beyond its contracted capacity.
According to an LEC statement, dated Monday, May 1, 2023, the decision is due to “unforeseeable” or surprise challenges with power generation in Ivory Coast, CI Energies.
LEC: “The Management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), wishes to inform its valued customers that due to unforeseeable challenges with power generation in Ivory Coast, CI Energies, the electricity supplier through the Transco-CLSG transmission lines, is no longer able to supply Liberia with electricity beyond contracted capacity.”
The Liberia Electricity Corporation stated that the impact of such unfortunate development is that “LEC may not be able to meet domestic peak demand, which is currently 74 MW, well above the current generation capacity of the corporation.”
The Electricity power house of the country is hopeful that water inflow into the Mt. Coffee dam will improve over the coming days to enable the full operation of the dam.
“Until then, LEC may be required to undertake selective load-shedding to match electricity demand to the available capacity,” the statement read.
On Wednesday October 26, 2022, during the official signing of the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) with the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), at TRANSCO CLSG headquarters in Abidjan, Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister (MFDP), Samuel D. Tweah reaffirmed the government’s financial commitment to the sustainability of TRANSCO CLSG, a transmission company that is responsible to deliver stable and affordable electricity to Liberia.
Minister Tweah, at the ceremony commended the efforts of TRANSCO CLSG, the government of Ivory Coast, and the project funders for the project’s successful signing.
“We are committed to maintaining the sustainability of the CLSG project,” Minister Tweah then, declared.
He (Minster Tweah) then asserted that the government of President George Weah is committed to making the LEC viable as compared to the CI Energies of Ivory Coast.
Tweah added that when President Weah took office in 2018, the CLSG project was at 18percent physical project implementation rate.
Liberia’s fiscal manager further disclosed at the time that the government of Liberia has maintained significant support towards the CLSG project and that President Weah was eager to ensure Liberians receive stable and affordable electricity, especially during this dry season.
According to the Finance Minister, the Government of Liberia supported the landmark CLSG project implementation from the inception of the physical implementation in 2018 to about 97% now.
He maintained that the CLSG project is a practical realization of regional integration in the real sense of work.
“What we now have is a framework to market energy,” Minister Tweah declared, following the signing of the TSA between Liberia and TRANSCO CLSG.
He thanked the donors including the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank and other key stakeholders for their tireless role in making the CLSG project a reality.
Speaking also during that ceremony, TRANSCO CLSG General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif thanked the Liberian government for joining the TRANSCO CLSG train.
He described the CLSG framework as a model that is working.
Mr. Sherif described the agreement as a significant step towards developing an energy market that will foster regional growth and strengthen the economies of the CLSG nations, guaranteeing that the people of the four countries have access to reliable and reasonably priced electricity.
CLSG General Manager: “We are thrilled by this landmark achievement in the CLSG project implementation, Today’s signing event means Liberia has sealed the deal to receive the electricity that Liberians have hungered for years.”
He further explained that the signing of the PPA and TSA for stable electricity could not come at the right time as Liberia was set to enter the dry season, during which the country is faced with a major energy deficit.
The General Manager however applauded President George Manneh Weah, the government, and the people of Liberia for coming on board to the TRANSCO train and setting the pace for the people to enjoy 24-hour electricity during this dry season and onward.
“The signing of the PPA and the TSA by Liberia marks the beginning of trading on the CLSG line, and we are proud as Liberia now joins Sierra Leone and Guinea to enjoy 24-hour electricity, a reality of Cote d’Ivoire delivering quality, stable and affordable electricity to the respective CLSG countries, He maintained.
CLSG General Manager boss acknowledged the support of the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and German Development Bank, the governments, and other stakeholders for their vision and support given to this CLSG project.
Also at that signing ceremony in October 2022 in Abidjan, the chief executive officer of Liberia Electricity Corporation Mr. Monie Captan, who signed on behalf of the Liberian government, expressed his hope that Transco CLSG would increase its transmission capacity by putting in place the second circuit of the transmission line, which he said, is crucial for supplying future energy demands.
Mr. Captan assured that LEC has the capacity to fight power theft in the system in order to increase more revenue.
According to Mr. Captan, the signing of the TSA, then, was made possible by the realization of the 225kv CLSG Transmission line that interconnects the electricity networks of Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
“This critical infrastructure paves the way for further integration of the West African Power Pool countries in the formation of a regional energy market,” Mr. Captan noted.