Massive electrification boost in Liberia

power-transmitting-station28 November 2013, Monrovia – What appears to be a massive electrification boost regarding Liberia’s energy sector have taken a progressive leap with the African Development Bank (ADB) approving a project that ultimately restores the country’s postwar energy needs.

Liberia and the ADB have signed a “rural electrification” project that benefits four Mano River Union Countries, Cote d’ Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

The project was signed Tuesday at the Ministry of Finance between representatives of the ADB and Liberia.

Finance Minister Amara Konneh said since 2008, the Government of Liberia has been working to develop a comprehensive energy strategy for the country.

He explained that considering the total destruction of the energy generating capacity and the vandalism of electricity distribution systems and networks during the war, government needed to fully understand the energy problem – one of several constraints to economic growth and development in Liberia -and determine a short, medium and long term strategy to resolve it.

The Minister said the broader CLSG project is expected to increase electrification rates from 2% to 6% in Liberia and provide a sufficient lift to the economy.

According to Minister Konneh, this project clearly falls within the medium term strategy of developing infrastructure to attract private sector investments, particularly in light manufacturing, and ultimately create jobs.

He asserted that Liberians are aware of the limited supply and high demand for energy currently facing the country, which include putting light in homes and businesses that would require about 110 MW of on-grid power and 130 MW of off-grid electricity. That means LEC needs to provide 110 MW of electricity along the power lines, supplemented by 130 MW of independently generated electricity, where lines are not available.

Konneh: “Without energy, it would be difficult to reach our development targets. With our road expansion programs and the scale-up of concessionaire operations across the country, we will begin to see, in the next two years, the visible impact of all these interventions. We urge our fellow citizens to remain patient with this administration and to lend all of the support required to ensure that the country remains peaceful, stable and safe for these investments to go unhindered.”

– The News

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