EU Delegation Head Emphasizes EU’s Commitment To Liberia’s Energy Sector

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At the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of three 33-kilovolt distribution networks and customer connections to the cities of Buchanan, Greenville and Barclayville, the European Union Head of Delegation, Ambassador Nona Deprez recommitted the European Union’s ongoing support for Liberia’s energy sector. The ceremony took place at the Transco/CLSG Substation located on the outskirts of Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County on Friday, May 3, 2024, and was attended by community dwellers, local authorities, dignitaries, including government officials, various stakeholders in the energy sector and other developmental partners. “Liberia really has an amazing potential access to electricity because it is endowed with abundant renewable energy sources, mainly hydro and solar, that could effectively give light to all Liberians,” Ambassador Deprez remarked. “However, the country still has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world.” To address this challenge, Deprez emphasized the EU’s partnership with Liberia in the energy sector, stating, “We have supported urban Monrovia through the Light of Monrovia and also the southeast.” She noted that a grant of €52 million has provided access to electricity for 42,000 households in Monrovia, while also supporting the formation of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission to strengthen the energy legal framework and reduce energy losses. Deprez also spoke about the EU’s contribution of €10 million to the Liberia Energy Efficiency and Access Program, which focuses on installing new transmission lines from Paynesville to Robertsfield International Airport and from Pleebo to Fishtown. “So we were just on a trip with the EU member state ambassadors to Maryland, and there I’ve seen how important the program is,” she said. Deprez also stressed the need for awareness-raising among the Liberian population about the efficient use of energy. “Everyone will need to get used to meters, to paying for the energy that you consume,” she added. “It’s not sustainable to use a flat rate and consume as much energy as you want. It’s not good for the planet, and it’s not good for Liberia’s economic development.” The European Union, through the European Investment Bank, also supported the reconstruction of the Mount Coffee hydropower facility. “This program, which targets Buchanan, Greenville, and Barclayville, will create jobs and avoid CO2 emissions,” Deprez stated. “We will work with the private sector in the management of the grid and establish a revolving fund for repairs, maintenance, and expansion of services to ensure sustainability.” Deprez concluded by emphasizing the EU’s commitment to helping Liberia achieve its goal of providing access to energy for 35% of the population outside Monrovia by 2030. “This program is part of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, which aims to boost smart, clean, and secure links in the digital, energy, and transport sectors,” she said. “We stand for sustainable interconnections and not dependencies through trusted connections.”  Also, deputizing for the National Authorizing Officer, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara as well as for President Joseph Nyemah Boakai, Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management, Dehpue Yeanpea Zuo commended the EU for funding the project which he indicated as being a testament of President Boakai’s vision to attract the most significant infrastructure project in Liberia He maintained that the action of President Boakai to electrify the tree Southeastern cities, depicts responsible, visionary and selfless leadership given that he has the power to divert such huge project to his native county. He disclosed that securing and funding and soon to be execution of the project, the President is also working out modalities and lobbying with other developmental partners to ensure similar electrification project for the Western and Northcentral region of Liberia. Funded by the European Union’s ‘Rural Electrification Programme,’ with a special focus on the South-eastern region of Liberia, these projects aim to deliver reliable and affordable electricity to underserved communities. Upon completion, the following outcomes will be realized: In Grand Bassa County, particularly Buchanan city, LEC is expected to connect an approximately 12,054 customers on both single and three-phase pre-paid meters, including an estimated 825 LED streetlights will be installed to illuminate the city streets. For Greenville city, an approximately 4,344 households is expected to gain electricity access, and along the 43-kilometer transmission line route, from a planned 2-megawatt mini hydropower plant on the Sinoe River Rapids to Greenville, approximately 200 LED streetlights will be installed. Buchanan’s network will be powered primarily by two dedicated feeders linked to the TRANSCO-CLSG 225/33 KV substation, situated about 5 kilo meters from Buchanan along the Monrovia main road. For Greenville, initial electricity provision will come from an 850-kilowatt solar power plant near Greenville in Murrayville, supported by an 820 KVA backup generator. Additionally, a 2-megawatt hydropower plant on the Sinoe River Rapids, approximately 43 kilometers from the city center, will further boost electricity generation capacity.

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