18 June 2014

Liberia: LEC, World Bank Break Ground for Thermal Generation Plant

Monrovia — Electricity remains a major challenge in Liberia as the country lacks a functioning stable source of power, posing problems for private homes, businesses and other institutions.

The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has been making efforts to supply portion of Monrovia and its immediate environs with power but meeting the electricity need of the population has been a difficult task.

In effort to boost the capacity of the LEC, the corporation and the World Bank have officially broken ground for the design, supply and installation of a 10 megawatt dual fuel LFO/HFO fire thermal generation plant in Monrovia.

A Chinese implementing contractor, CHINA National Technical Import and Export Corporation, is carrying out the project, which cost is yet to be released.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony Tuesday, at the LEC office on Bushord Island, World Bank Country Manager Inguna Dobraga disclosed that the 10 MW Power Plant will increase the country's current electricity capacity by fifty percent and intends to reduce the price of electricity in the country. She said the cost of electricity has been significant obstacles for private sector growth in Liberia.

Said Dobraga: "This Power Plant is part of a broader World Bank Group support to Liberia's energy sector and it intends to increase access for both urban and rural populations. We have been part together with the government in expanding services through generation, transmission and distribution."

The World Bank Country Manager noted that the group has provided about $225m (two hundred twenty-five million dollars) to the Liberia energy sector over the years in a bid to ensure that reliable and affordable electricity is provided for Liberians.

Madam Dobraga used the occasion to outline the importance of a cordial working relationship among all institutions working in the energy sector to continue what she called 'the series of successes that have been already achieved'.

At the same time the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Liberia Electricity Corporation Greg Sylvestre said the LEC is very anxious to see the result of yet another World Bank successful project.

Meanwhile, Lands Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo praised the World Bank for its enormous efforts towards Liberia's energy sector and several development initiatives being carried out by the group.

He said the commencement of the Power Plant project through the instrumentality of the LEC is a significant achievement.

"So for the first time in our country history, you have four Power Plant being constructed all at the same time and I think this merits commendation on the part of the LEC team," Minister Sendolo said.

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