The head of delegation of the European Union Mission in Liberia, Amb. Laurent Delahousse, has made a resounding call on the Government of Liberia to craft a master plan that will clearly spell out its strategies for the energy sector.
The energy sector is viewed as one of the areas with huge potentials that could boost Liberia’s economy in its post war recovery and reconstruction drive if managed properly. He disclosed that Liberia’s energy sector has received massive support in hundreds of millions of dollars from Liberia’s partners including the EU and the United States.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press briefing ecently, Amb. Delahousse said addressing the electricity challenge in Liberia requires a joint exercise involving the Government of Liberia, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the people of Liberia and the international donor community.
The strategies, he said, should include new generation capacities to meet the expected increase in power consumption; ambitious use of Liberia’s assets for renewable energy such as hydro and solar power; sustainable participation to the regional network offered by the CSLG line, strengthening of the client base through the connection of more Liberian businesses, delivery of power to many more Liberian households and families, and bringing the tariff of electricity, which is exceptionally high in Liberia, to levels more affordable for ordinary Liberian families.
“The international partners and friends of Liberia call on the Government of Liberia for clarity on its strategy for the electricity sector, for vision on powering Liberia to empower Liberians,” he said.
Speaking further, he said with the existing infrastructures, the focus is not on the increase of generation capacity; rather the priority for the short term is, first, on developing and making full use of the transmission networks, both nationally and throughout the region with the CLSG power line that connects Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
It is necessary to accelerate the connection of communities and large users to the CLSG transmission line to take full advantage of this strategic asset for the country to expand delivery of electricity to all Liberians and increase revenues of LEC, he said.
He added that the priority is also and mostly, on extending distribution, since 88% of Liberians today are not connected to the grid, and disclosed that distribution projects financed by the European Union and the World Bank will soon allow the connection of a more than 200,000 households around Greater Monrovia, twice the number of a year ago.
Since 2008, the European Union has contributed close to 140 million US dollars in grants to the Government of Liberia for power distribution. The EU is currently connecting 38,000 customers in the capital city under the Monrovia Consolidation of Electricity project.
As part of that project, Amb. Delahousse, on the 5th of March this year, joined President George Weah in connecting the Peace Island community to the grid.
Culled from FrontPageAfrica news online