Authorities of the Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC) and the Ministry of Mines and Energy are concluding talks in the Ivorian Capital, Abidjan to seal a deal with TRANSCO CLSG that will end Liberia’s power woes.
LEC Chief Monie Captan, and Gesler Murray, Liberia’s Minister of Mines and Energy are negotiating a power supply agreement with CLSG for Liberia.
Liberia has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world, with only about fewer households connected to the national grid. Less than 15 percent of the population in Monrovia has regular access to electricity and it’s even troubling for the population in the rural areas.
However, the country’s unwavering quest to connect to the West African Power Pool TRANSCO CLSG interconnection line for stable and affordable electricity for its citizens will soon become a reality as the country prepares to sign all commercial framework documents with Cote d’Ivoire, which supplies the electricity and TRANSCO CLSG, which transport the energy.
The Government of Liberia is working closely with TRANSCO CLSG, development partners and Cote d’Ivoire to undertake measures to rebuild the country’s electricity infrastructure and improve access to electricity for its population.
Liberia’s economy is severely constrained by a lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity. This makes electricity the single largest component of operational expenses in Liberia for businesses. The government has identified the lack of reliable and affordable electricity, along with a poor road network, as binding constraints to the country’s growth.
The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), a state utility company continues to restore limited electricity to parts of Monrovia in recent times, particularly to many larger facilities such as hotels, restaurants, and office buildings, which normally depend the use privately-owned generators to supply electricity to their premises.
The Mount Coffee hydro plant could enable Liberia to export electricity to the West Africa Power Pool project (WAPP) inter-connection grid, which has been constructed and ready to electrify the country once the government concludes the signing of commercial frameworks papers with Cote d’Ivoire and TRANSCO CLSG, which is already connecting the towns in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The TRANSCO CLSG is a multi-donor-supported project intended to increase electricity access for the rural communities in border regions of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast. Some major population centers along Liberia’s borders, such as the city of Ganta and its surrounding towns, are already electrified by the WAPP cross-border project.
Liberia is facing financial huddles in signing the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and the Transmission Service Agreement (TSA), but according to the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr. Gesler Murray, the government is doing everything to ensure these documents are signed within 60 days to improve people’s access to affordable and reliable electricity.
Attending a high-level Steering Committee meeting of TRANSCO CLSG project in Abidjan where he held fruitful discussions with Ivorian authorities including his counterpart of Cote d’Ivoire and TRANSCO CLSG Management on the way forward to ensuring that Liberians get access to reliable electricity. He noted that energy is very important for development and so it is incumbent on all sovereign states to provide affordable and reliable electricity to all.
Additionally, LEC Board Chairman, Monie R. Captan also held separate talks with Ivorian authorities on the energy issues and according to him, there is high prospect for Liberia in the energy sector.
While in Abidjan, Captan along with Minister Murray visited the headquarters of TRANSCO CLSG and met with the General Manager, Mohammed M. Sherif. Discussions were fruitful. Both men reiterated Liberia unwavering commitment to the CLSG interconnection project. They discussed issues that are equally beneficial to TRANSCO CLSG and LEC, principally Liberia’s connection to the CLSG line.
The Management of TRANSCO CLSG recently applauded the Liberian Government’s decision to allocate $14M (USD) through the recast budget for 2022 towards efforts to improve access to stable and affordable electricity in the country. TRANSCO CLSG welcomed the bold move and acknowledged the efforts of the government’s action as a renewed commitment of the people of Liberia through their government, led by His Excellency President George Manneh Weah, to tackle the energy delivery issues in the country.
The appropriation was passed by the National Legislature and signed into law by the President. Liberia is expected to sign all commercial framework documents including the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Cote d’Ivoire and the Transmission Service Agreement with TRANSCO CLSG, which will pave the way for the delivery of light to millions of Liberians who are patiently awaiting the electricity.
Liberia has been without a stable, reliable, and affordable electricity for years, something many individuals believe have hampered growth of the country’s economy. However, with government’s preparedness to connect to TRANSCO CLSG transmission line, expectation is high that once again Liberians will enjoy stable electricity.