World Bank Approves US$27 Million Energy Agreement for Rural Liberians
January 20, 2016
WASHINGTON, USA – The World Bank has approved a new US$ 27 million financing agreement meant to increase access to affordable, reliable electricity and foster the use of renewable energy in Liberia.
According to a press release, this agreement comprises of a US$25 million grant from the Strategic Climate Fund to scale up the Renewable Energy Program and another US$2 million of International Development Association credit.
The statement added that the Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project, or LIRENAP, seeks to establish a mini hydro power plant to benefit about 50,000 people, as well as small businesses, associations and public institutions in Lofa County through connection to a mini-hydro electric grid.
The project is expected to also benefit an additional 100,000 people nationwide as they would gain access to stand-alone solar systems and lanterns.
The statement quoted Inguna Dobraja, the World Bank Liberia Country Manager: “This project aligned with Liberia’s development strategy Agenda for Transformation, targets electricity service expansion, reduction of the cost of electricity and fostering renewable energy resources, which are essential components for achieving sustainable economic transformation and poverty reduction.”
In addition, expansion of electricity access would also be significant to remote areas that are not likely to be connected to the national grid in the foreseeable future.
Furthermore, the release emphasized that LIRENAP would also contribute to the Liberian Government’s efforts to rebuild the economy after the Ebola outbreak. The primary area of intervention will be in Lofa County, which was harshly affected by the epidemic.
“This project targets the construction of a hydropower plant near Kolahun on the Kaiha River, distribution lines and facilitating connections for households, businesses and public entities,” Clemencia Torres de Mästle and David Vilar, World Bank Co-Task Team Leaders noted.
The statement also detailed that Voinjama, Foya, Kohalun, Massambolahun, Bolahun and other surrounding towns will also benefit from this hydropower plant.
The release also explained that LIRENAP will be implemented by the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency of Liberia and would liaise with the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy to ensure consistency between the activities financed under this project and the sector policies for decentralized electrification.
In February 2014, with the financing of the World Bank, the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency of Liberia completely rehabilitated and expanded a 60 kilowatts mini-hydro plant in Yandohun, Lofa County. The present LIRENAP builds upon the experience gained from this pilot project and seeks to extend the benefits of developing the hydro-electrical potential of the country.
Source: By Zeze Ballah - Bush Chicken