13 February 2008 – A contribution of US$7 million has been approved by the European Commission for a programme linking three counties in Liberia to the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
Infrastructure damage and vandalisation sustained during the war has made power supply in Liberia almost impossible, and while efforts are being made to restore services to the Liberian capital of Monrovia and surrounds, the rural communities are still totally without power supply.
An initiative by Ecowas identified major constraints to electricity access as a lack of adequate transmission infrastructure within member countries and between national power systems of the Ecowas region.
A specially created institution, the Specialised Institution of Ecowas, will together with the Liberian Electricity Corporation (LEC) and the Société d’Opération Ivoirienne d’Electricité (SOPIE) complete preparatory activities for the cross border projects, and undertake the construction of the medium and low voltage transmission lines, substations and connections.
The programme will provide power to some 131 000 people in 18 communities in Maryland, Nimba and Grand Gedeh according to a press release from the Commission. In addition to household supply, schools and clinics will benefit from the scheme.
This cross border supply is more cost effective than the diesel based alternatives, as it is produced from hydro and natural gas sources.