POWER AFRICA IN LIBERIA

ENERGY SECTOR OVERVIEW

The Government of Liberia is working closely with development partners to undertake ambitious measures to rebuild its electricity infrastructure. The civil war, which ended in 2003, destroyed the country’s ability to provide electricity for its over four million people. At 4.9 percent, Liberia has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world. In the capital city of Monrovia, less than 7% of the population has access to electricity. By 2030, the Government of Liberia aims to connect 70% of Monrovia to the electricity grid and provide access to 35% of the rest of the country.

GENERATION CAPACITY

  • Installed Capacity: 126 MW
    • Diesel and HFO: 38 MW
    • Hydro: 88 MW
  • Power Africa new MW to Date Reached Financial Close: N/A
  • PA 2020 Target: 200 MW
  • Power Africa 2030 Target: 300 MW

CONNECTIONS

  • Current access rate: 5%
    • Rural: 2% Urban: 7%
  • Average Tariff: $0.35/kWh
  • Households without Power: 4 million

INVESTMENT AND ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

  • Biggest Issues
  • Weak and under developed enabling environment
  • Public utility has needs capacity building support to ensure functionality
  • Weak and crumbling infrastructure requires investment in order to evacuate energy.
  • Nascent off-grid sector

Power Africa Interventions

  1. Power Africa’s engagement in Liberia is rooted in an agreement between the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Liberia, signed in November 2015.
  2. The $257 million power and roads sector compact includes funding for the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydroelectric Plant, development of a training center for technicians in the electricity sector, support for the creation of an independent energy sector regulator, and support for the development of a nationwide road maintenance framework.

POWER AFRICA’S ENGAGEMENT IN LIBERIA

MW GENERATION

The MCC compact will support the construction of four photovoltaic plants adding 45 MW of power and the rehabilitation of a micro-hydro plant adding 1 MW. With support from the compact, Benin will release competitive solicitations seeking IPPs to invest in power production. Compact funding could be used for viability gap financing to assist with the costs of design and construction. Power Africa is also supporting the 450 MW regional power project at Maria Gleta reach financial close through a dedicated PPP advisor embedded at the West Africa Power Pool, headquartered in Cotonou.

ENABLING ENVIRONMENT

In June 2015, the Liberian Legislature passed into law, the Act creating the Rural Renewable Energy Agency (RREA), a longstanding Power Africa policy objective. In addition, the Legislature approved the Liberia Electricity Law, in September 2015. These two pieces of legislation provide a foundation for unlocking the opportunities to modernize the electricity sector and, for the first time, provide a framework for private sector participation. In August 2016, the RREA launched its rural energy strategy and masterplan for Liberia which can be accessed on www.liberiaruralenergy.org.

SUCCESS STORY

On November 8, 2017, a new management services contract was executed between the Liberia Electricity Corporation and ESB International Engineering and Facilities Management, facilitated by Power Africa’s support, to operate and manage the utility towards commercial viability. The contract will be funded under the MCC Compact for three years.

USAID/Liberia has fully completed 3 renewable energy pilot projects, with implementation support from Power Africa, providing connections to 564 households in rural Liberia, utilizing solar, rubber wood chips biomass and crude palm oil biofuel technologies, to increase access to clean, affordable and renewable energy services in targeted rural areas. In addition, these projects have demonstrated the operation of 3 renewable energy models in Liberia under community ownership models, which concluded that solar is the most feasible renewable energy technology to scale up in rural Liberia.

FACT SHEET

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Last updated: March 28, 2018

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