On Monday, the World Bank announced that it has endorsed a new funding contract that is worth a total of $27 million, which will be aimed at fast-tracking access to affordable and reliable electricity in Liberia.
Funds to promote renewable energy
The treaty consists of a $25 million grant from the Strategic Climate Fund Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme and credit of $2 million provided by the International Development Association (IDA).
According to a statement by the World Bank, the funding agreement is also meant to assist in the promotion of the utilisation of renewable energy sources in Liberia.
The World Bank further stated that the funds are to support the Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project (LIRENAP) in realising its goal of establishing a mini hydropower plant. This project is set to benefit about 50,000 people, small businesses, associations and public institutions in Lofa County through connections to the mini-hydro electric grid.
An additional 100,000 people across the country are predicted to benefit under this project by gaining access to stand-alone solar systems and lanterns.
Electricity services expansion
“The LIRENAP will be implemented by the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency of Liberia and it 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 decentralised electrification,” the World Bank explained.
World Bank Liberia Country Manager Inguna Dobraga commented: “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.”
World Bank officials highlighted the major towns that are to benefit from the development of the hydropower plant, including Voinjama, Foya, Kohalun, Massambolahun/Bolahun as well the surrounding areas.
The officials said: “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.”