The executive director of the World Bank Africa Group One, Mr. Louis Rene Peter Larose, says he is taking the message, after his visit to Liberia, to inform the international community that the country is ready for full energy capacity.
Speaking to journalists after visiting the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s Bushrod Island office and a tour of the Mount Coffee Hydro in White Plains yesterday, he said Liberia deserves full support to generate electricity supply to build the country’s economy.
“Energy is the lifeblood of every economy and with what I have observed so far, I’m convinced that Liberia should be helped by the international community to regain its pre-war status of 200 megawats,” he said.
Mr. Larose, who is responsible for 21 African countries, including Liberia, admitted that Africa suffers from energy deficit, which contributes to the economic downturn, and as a result increases poverty in the country.
Accompanied by Mr. Henry G. R. Kerali, Country Director for Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, Mr. Larose said, “I’m taking the message to appeal to the international community to provide the support Liberia needs to regain its pre-war energy capacity to get the country running again.
“One of the reasons I am in Liberia is to find out Liberia’s energy challenges and what can the World Bank do to provide support for the economy to reduce poverty.”
He said when Liberia enjoys full energy capacity it will reduce poverty and encourage economic prosperity.
Among the 21 countries that Mr. Larose is responsible for, others include Swaziland, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Gambia, Namibia, Rwanda, Malawi and Somalia.
Country Director Kerali said he is impressed with development in the energy sector, after the tour and a power-point presentation by a member of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) at Mount Coffee Hydro station. He hoped that by the end of next year Liberians would enjoy full energy capacity.
LEC officials informed the Daily Observer that it presently operates below 28 megawatts but that by next month, September, an additional 10 megawatts will be in operation through the Japanese Government.
“And by mid-December this year, there will be additional 22 megawatts to make it a total of 60 megawatts to boost the country’s energy capacity,” an LEC official said.
He said the LEC is aiming at a total of 88 megawatts, an increase of 24 megawatts over pre-war status. The World Bank Group is funding 18 communities to benefit more than 8,000 consumers and additional 5,000 at the LEC sub-station in Kakata, Margibi County, to include areas in Weala.
It is also funding 10 megawatts and the Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and Light Fuel Oil (LFO) storage facilities at the LEC Bushrod Island station.