— Amid mounting concerns
The Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) has expressed grave concerns regarding the acute power outages being experienced by customers of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).
In the last couple of months, the electricity supply has been increasingly poor on account of the seasonal variation in water levels at the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant due to the dry season, the LERC said in a release issued on February 7.
This condition has worsened in the last few days, prompting the LEC to undertake a massive load-shedding exercise.
The Commission reminds the management of LEC that during the tariff determination process in 2022; the Commission considered full utilization of 33MW of thermal capacity from the Bushrod Thermal Plant as part of LEC’s dry season generation mix.
This source of generation is critically important now that the Mount Coffee generation has dropped significantly due to the dry season.
The LEC generation reports in the possession of the Commission show only about half of the thermal capacity is being used for a limited period daily. To address the generation deficit, the Commission hereby mandates LEC to fully utilize the thermal plant, which would minimize the duration of power outages that customers are currently experiencing.
The Commission also urges LEC to fully implement the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between LEC and Cote d’Ivoire Energies (CIE) for an increase from 27MW to 50MW as stipulated for the contract year 2024.
LERC assures electricity consumers, policymakers, and stakeholders of its relentless determination to keep with the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia and approved regulations that appropriate regulatory actions are being taken to mitigate the outage durations and erratic power supply in the LEC distribution service area.
“The Commission will continue to engage with the management of LEC and other stakeholders on how the load shedding situation can be addressed to improve electricity supply in Liberia. The Board of Commissioners (BoC) will continue to intensify efforts to bring the situation under control,” Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo, Chairman of the LERC’s Board of Commissioners asserted.