The Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia (MCA-L) equipped the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) with US$576,000 in spare parts and utility poles to improve the corporation’s network reliability and accelerate customer connections, a release from the corporation said.
The spare parts, which are valued at $353,000, will be used for repair and maintenance of LEC’s 18 megawatt (MW) heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant on Bushrod Island, which comprises two Wartsila units, each with 9MW. The spare parts will ensure that HFO generators remain functional year round, and especially during the dry season when water levels are too low for the Mount Coffee Hydro-power Plant to generate sufficient electricity to supply all of LEC’s customers. During the peak of the last dry season, the limited number of generators available could not handle the load of the network.
As a result, there were frequent outages and load shedding. The recently donated spare parts will allow LEC to continue to meet the growing energy demands of its customers.
In addition to the spare parts, 1,152 utility poles, which are valued at $223,000 will be used to extend LEC’s network to new customers and to replace some of the damaged or defective poles.
The donations are part of MCA-L’s support to LEC intended to help create a more sustainable and viable public utility. Funding was provided by the United States Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact with the Government of Liberia.
MCA-L will be providing additional assistance to LEC that will include the reconstruction and modernizing of its Customer Service Center at Waterside, and provision of connection materials including meters, transformers, conductors, specialized vehicles, and tools. In addition to funding 40 percent of the cost of rehabilitating the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant, the Compact is also funding a three-year management service contract for the operation and management of LEC and the training of local staff to later take over the company.