The Liberia Electricity Corporation or LEC has signed a US$257 million contract with an engineering company based in Dublin, Republic of Ireland to improve power delivery across the country.
In a news conference held over the weekend at the LEC head office in West Point Township, Chief Executive Officer Mr. John Ashley, explains the contract has four main objectives with the first being increasing connection to citizens, reducing the level of technical loses at 61 percent and commercial loses at 41 percent, respectively.
According to CEO Ashley, for every 10 units of electricity that is being supplied LEC loses revenue of 5 percent. He stresses that addressing the technical and commercial loses is very important to the corporation, and notes the signing of the contract constitutes the successful conclusion of a two-year process that began in October 2016 with ratification of US$ 257 million to the Government of Liberia by the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
The CEO continues that the Government of Liberia, the United States, Norway, Germany, Japan, EU, World Bank, USAID, and the African Development Bank are all major contributors to the energy sector of Liberia, which sits on a high level steering group that is run by the LEC Board.
According to him, ESB International, wholly owned by the Irish National Electricity Utility, is the leading engineering and management consultancy firm to the global utility sector with headquarters in Dublin, the Republic of Ireland, saying this company has four decades of experience, having worked in 120 countries around the globe with projects implemented in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia, respectively.
Mr. Ashley points out that in the contract, the firm will be responsible for several key deliverables, including building the capacity of local Liberian managers and staff through a structure and comprehensive training and development program that will take place both in the country and Europe.
“With that, such will ensure the creation of a succession management resource pool, from this resource pool a Liberian counterpart staff team will be in due course selected on merit and appointed as counterparts to work for the ESBI management team.”
CEO Ashley however narrates that when the ESBI contract expires, a trained and experience Liberian management team is in place that is capable of assuming all aspects of the management of the LEC.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne