Government of Liberia Makes Huge Strides in its Nationwide Quest to Expand Electricity Access

The Government of Liberia through the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), on Thursday, March 30, 2023, signed a Distribution Assets Assignment Agreement with Quality Group & Albedo Energié JV (LibEnergié), for the expansion and managementof electricity supply within three South Eastern Counties - Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland
Counties respectively.

According to the LEC management through its Acting CEO who led the LEC delegation by road into Harper City for the signing ceremony said, this publicprivate venture will enable the provision of electricity in all three counties benefitting over 250,000 persons. This effort is directly in line with LEC’s core mandate, which is to provide adequate and reliable electricity to the entire nation.

"On many occasions, I was invited to the Legislature along with the Chairman of the
Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission”, said Mr. Captan during the wellattended event. “During these visits, the Legislature always reminded us of the hiring of 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.”

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 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. The 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 12 million dollars.

“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 takeadvantage of this opportunity in order to provide sustained electricity for our people.”

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$ 31.8million 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 Mr. 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.” 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 South East.

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.