Liberia: President Weah Launches Energy Access Project in Lofa County
KOLAHUN, Lofa County – The Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project (LIRENAP), with support from World Bank has been launched in Lofa County, aimed at decentralizing electrification in that part of Liberia.
The project was launched in Kolahun District on Sunday, June 6, by President George Manneh Weah, during his nationwide tour in that part of the country, along with the Task Team Leader of the Project, Ky Hong Tran.
The project is intended to not only to decentralized electricity in Lofa County, but also to basically, provide the construction of a 2.5MW hydropower plant plus 1.8MW diesel facility as backup, 115km of 33kV T&D network and service connections.
The project, when completed, is expected to provide access to electricity for about 50,000 people, including small businesses, associations and public institutions in Lofa County.
During the lunch, President George Manneh Weah expressed the Liberian Government willingness to work with the World Bank and other international partners in ensuring the project and others to be implemented becomes successful.
“We appreciate the World Bank for this project and we will make sure that the project is implemented properly to achieve its objectives,” President Weah averred.
He expressed hopes that such a relationship existing between the World bank and his government through the Rural Renewable Energy Agency will continue in order to see further developments for Liberians.
For his part, the Project Task Team Leader, Ky Hong Tran who represented the World Bank said the Liberia Renewable Energy Access project is cardinal and assures Liberians that it will also help improve people livelihood through increasing people utilizing electricity in productive activities.
He further noted that with the presence of the electricity, will help transform the living status of rural dwellers and also enable them to curtail expenditure on provision of electricity.
“I believe you all know about the benefit of electricity and how it changes our life,” Mr. Trans said.
“Electricity will provide light at night for children to study, for parent to work and for women to take care of their families.”
Trans then expressed delights on behalf of World Bank Country Manager, Khwima Nthara to the government and People of Lofa for the important milestone of the Kaiha 2 project funded by the World Bank to provide electricity access to the people in Lofa county.
He further noted such a project will provide an opportunity to the people of Lofa and bring their dreams to reality.
In the same way, he added that the World Bank, as a trusted partner, will continue its support to Liberia, particularly in the energy sector for the benefit of people of Liberia.
“We will continue working closely with relevant government authorities, RREA, local people to complete the project in 2023,” he stressed.
The Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project (LIRENAP) is a partnership between the Government of Liberia and the World Bank implemented by the Rural and Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA).
The Project funds the following components to include, Decentralized electrification in Lofa County, Technical assistance to strengthen rural electrification institutions and regulations, Market development of stand-alone solar systems and lanterns to benefit an additional 100,000 people nationwide who would gain access to stand-alone solar systems and lanterns.
The beneficiaries of the decentralized electricity include towns of Voinjama, Foya, Kolahun, Massambolahun, Bolahun & surrounding areas, Lofa County.
LIRENAP’s development objective is to increase access to electricity and foster the use of renewable energy sources, with target of 150,000 direct project beneficiaries (50,000 – access to electricity.
Also, following the implementation of the project, 100,000 will have access to modern energy services via stand-alone solar PV systems).
This initiative according to the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency, is aligned with the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP) and will contribute to the 2023 High-level National targets, to include increase in universal electricity access by 30% and electricity generation from 134MW to 270MW.
It will as well focus on the reduction in energy cost from 0.36kWh to 0.25kWh; increase in transmission & distribution from 511km to 2279km.
Meanwhile, the total project funding is placed US$27million, which consists of US$25 million SREP financing (grant) and US$2 million IDA financing (Loan).