The Executive Director for Projects at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Muntungwa Mugala has provided an update on the projects on the installation of transmission and distribution network infrastructure and connections recently when he spoke to our Public Affairs department.
He said, the Government of Liberia in collaboration with the International partners including the multilateral lending institutions have prioritized the rehabilitation, rebuilding, and expansion of electricity infrastructure and access to electricity services in order to spar economic development in the country.
Mr. Mugala disclosed that through the World Bank funded Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP) and Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project Additional Financing (LACEEP-AF), LEC focused on expansion of the transmission and distribution grid, increasing the number of connections of residential and commercial customers, creating conditions to shift from diesel to HFO-based thermal generation needed for the country to effectively benefit from the price differential of the two fuels on the international market, and on the strengthening the institutional capacity of energy sector including LEC.
LEC Executive Director Projects revealed that a total of 115km of transmission lines and 1,600km of Distribution network have been constructed under LACEEP/ LACEEP AF in greater Monrovia, Paynesville – Kakata Corridor and Bomi – Cape Mount Corridor. Under this project, Paynesville substation has been upgraded, with an additional 5 new substations being established at Kakata, Gardnesville, Stockton Creek, Virginia, and Kley bringing on board an additional transformer capacity of 100 mega volt amperes (MVA). Mugala added that the project upgraded the transformer capacity at Paynesville Substation by 10 MVA on March 14, 2020; energized Kakata Substation with a transformer capacity of 10 MVA on April 30, 2020; established the Gardnerville Substation with a total installed transformer capacity of 40 MVA and was commissioned on April 24, 2021; established the Stockton Creek Substation with a total installed transformer capacity of 20 MVA and was commissioned on April 2, 2022. The Kley Substation was commissioned on April 23, 2022 and has a total installed transformer capacity of 10 MVA.
Mr. Mugala said the project has so far achieved 69,000 new connections compared to the projected figure of 54,000 connections. The project is expected to be completed in July 2022.
The Monrovia Consolidation project funded by the European Union (EU) consists of the construction and installation of electrical transmission and distribution assets and equipment within Monrovia city area. To date construction and upgrading of 27 kilometers (km) of transmission lines have been completed and 9 km of transmission line is under construction. A new 40 MVA capacity Congo Town substation have been established and was energized on December 17, 2021. A total of 183 km of distribution lines and 171 distribution transformers have been installed. 30,000 out of the targeted 41,000 customers have since been connected in Central Monrovia, Paynesville, Sinkor, and Congo Town areas. The project is scheduled to be completed in September 2022.
Mr. Mugala further explained that the Liberia Energy Efficiency and Access Project (LEEAP) funded by African Development Bank (AfDB) involves construction of transmission and distribution network in Paynesville, Monrovia, Schefflin and RIA/Margibi County and Pleebo to Fish-town, and establishment of two substations in Schefflin and RIA/Margibi County. So far, the 46km transmission line and the two substations in Schefflin and RIA / Margibi County are under construction. About 400km of distribution network have been completed and 46 distribution transformers installed. At present, 538 house-holds have been connected compared to the target of 36,000 connections as most of the house-holds will be connected after commissioning the Schefflin and RIA substations.
AfDB is also funding the CLSG Rural Electrification project which targets to provide electricity supply to 179 communities in towns and villages in Nimba, Grand Bassa, River Cess and Bong counties and to connect 24,500 house-holds. The procurement process is underway to select a new contractor to implement this project.
Mr. Mugala revealed that KfW is funding Electrification Monrovia Project with a focus to provide electricity supply to communities in two Gap areas covering Double Bridge – Pipeline and Police Academy and Du-Port Road – Rehab areas. The number of house-holds to be connected is 24,000 and so far more 90% of the LV poles and some MV poles have been erected. Stringing of the distribution network is scheduled to commence soon. The estimated completion date for the project is December 31, 2022.
Mr. Mugala further revealed that the World bank is funding a new project known as the Liberia Electricity Sector Strengthening and Access Project (LESSAP) whose main objective is to increase access to electricity and improve the operational efficiency of Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC). LEC is implementing the component of LESSAP involving rehabilitation and expansion of electricity infrastructure and access in gap areas. This component also involves revenue protection program, establishment of district offices and customer service centers and establishment of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. Another LESSAP component focusses on strengthening institutional capacities in the energy sector and implementation support to LEC.
Lastly, the LEC Executive Director appealed to the general public to safe guard against vandalism of the electricity infrastructure that has been constructed at a huge cost and to refrain from illegal connections.