Liberia: ESBI to End Its Management of LEC on July 20 As Govt, Partners Plan Major Revamp

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MONROVIA – FrontPageAfrica has gathered that ESBI, the current manager of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) would be ending its contract with the Liberian government on July 20.

By this, the government during a meeting with the U.S. Embassy and the European Union, and the LEC Board Chair, assured its international partners that it would be strong in the enforcement of the power theft law on individuals, government officials, and entities without any exception.

The government along with its partners also agreed to capitalize LEC and pay the debt owed the West Africa Power Poll and settle the fees for the consummation of the TRANSCO CLSG agreement that would see more power being supplied from Ivory Coast to almost all parts of Liberia.

FrontPageAfrica gathered that the Liberian government committed US$60 million to the improvement of the electricity sector. The amount would be disbursed in two budget years. Development partners have also reportedly committed to having the damaged turbines at the Mount Coffee Hydro repaired.

Diplomats and stakeholders have been concerned about the state of the LEC after ESBI leaves. The LEC Board has been therefore been urged to be cautious during the transition.

In late 2017 the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) announced a Management Services Contract (MSC) with ESB International.  This constituted the successful conclusion of a two-year process that began in October 2016 with the ratification of the US$257-million-dollar grant to the Government of Liberia, by the United States Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

In addition to the Government of Liberia, the United States, Norway, Germany, Japan, the European Union, the World Bank, USAID and the African Development Bank, who are all major contributors to Liberia’s energy sector, sit on a High-Level Steering Group (HLSG) run by the LEC Board and were regularly updated during the procurement process and final selection ESB International as the new LEC Management Service Contractor .  ESB International is wholly owned by the Irish National Electrical Utility, ESB, and is a leading engineering and management consultancy firm to the global utility sector. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, ESB International 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. Of note, and contrary to a recently published newspaper article, ESB International (ESBI) is currently working for the Electricity Corporation of Ghana, the Ghanaian national power utility, in an engineering advisory and management consultancy role.

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