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GeneralLiberia news

RREA, LEC launch World Bank US$16m LESSAP project phase two 

--Aims at electrifying 200 health facilities, others 

The World Bank-funded US$16 million project seeks to provide electricity for two hundred health facilities.

By Lincoln G. Peters 

Monrovia, May 6, 2024: Rural Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) and the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) have officially launched the second phase of the World Bank-funded US$16 million Liberia Electricity Sector Strengthening and Access Project (LESSA, P180498). 

A day-long stakeholders’ consultation dialogue was held at a local hotel in Monrovia, bringing together twenty-three government ministries and agencies, as well as donors, international non-governmental organizations, and public-private sectors.

The dialogue was held to deliberate on the Second Phase of the LESSAP Multiphase Programmatic Approach (MPA) program. 

The meeting was patched in two forms, inclusive of a Zoom call and a face-to-face presentation by participating parties. 

The objective of the stakeholder consultation is to introduce the project to the national stakeholders, relevant government ministries and agencies, off-grid companies, potential customers, partners, and investors.

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The consultation was intended to demonstrate the benefits, and features, and solicit feedback and opinions that will help to shape the design of the project. 

Also, the goal of the project is to contribute to increasing access to sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy in the program areas in Liberia.

The project will rehabilitate, upgrade, and expand the medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) distribution network in and around Monrovia implementing revenue protection measures.

This is in line with the World Bank ESF that requires the borrower to develop and implement a stakeholder engagement plan for the project and the Environmental Protection Agency and Management Law (EPML) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act.

It is also in line with the EPA Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Protection Procedural Guidelines. The project is implemented by RREA and LEC.  

Launching the second phase of the project, Mr. Stephen V. Potter, Deputy Executive Director for Program at RREA, said the second phase of the project seeks to provide electricity for two hundred health facilities.

He pointed out that phase two of the project is valued at US$16 million which is provided by the World Bank and its partners with US$13 million in credit and USD$3 million in grants. 

“The second phase would scale up the activities initiated under the first phase,” Potter said.

“Specifically, financing would be provided for rehabilitation, upgrade, and expansion of the distribution network in and around Monrovia, and stand-alone systems for households, public institutions, and mini-grids in remote and dispersed communities of Liberia,” Potter continued. 

“RREA will provide the off-grid while LEC provides the on-gride,” he noted.  

Mr. Potter disclosed that they are contemplating expanding the results-based framework in phase two by connecting educational facilities and the health sector with off-grid electricity. 

“As we gather to discuss phase-two which is an enhancement of phase-one, we want to assure the government and development partners that phase-two will achieve its objectives and goals. Additionally, health facilities of two hundred will be connected,” he noted.  

In 2020, the Government of Liberia approved the National Electrification Strategy (NES). The NES, which was supported by the World Bank, provides a roadmap to universal access by 2030 through a combination of grid expansion and densification and off-grid solutions.

Grid expansion and densification will be the least-cost option to reach 70 percent of new connections while the remaining 30 percent of new connections could be served by mini-grids and stand-alone solar systems. 

The Liberia LESSAP Program MPA was approved by the World Bank Board on March 12, 2021, for a total financing envelope of IDA US$190 million.

At the time of the approval of the parent MPA, the first phase was approved as an Investment Project Financing (I PF), with an IDA of US$59 million and US$5.2 million Co-financing from trust funds (Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and Japan Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD). 

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  1. World Bank projects only begin during the rainy season when our hydro is at its peak.

  2. “[The] 2020, Government of Liberia approved National Electrification Strategy (NES). The NES, which was supported by the World Bank, provides a roadmap to universal access by 2030 through a combination of grid expansion and densification and off-grid solutions,” must be implemented through the establishment of an Sea channel. That would lead from the Atlantic Ocean from the Hotel Africa area to lead to upper St Paul River to increase the flow of the St. Paul River to enable the stability of the total volume of CO2 needed to provide adequate electrification to urban and rural Liberia respectively. This strategies is use in western nations to solidify electricity capacity to generate full flesh electricity day and night without delinquency to improve the grid expansion and densification and off-grid improvement solutions respectively.

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