A Statement from the World Bank says the agreement comprises USD25 million grants from the Strategic Climate Fund Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program and another USD2 million International Development Association credit.
According to the statement, the Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project, (LIRENAP) seeks to establish a mini hydropower plant to beneﬁt about 50,000 people, as well as small businesses, associations and public institutions in Lofa County through connections to the mini-hydro electric grid.
The project, according to the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, would also beneﬁt an additional 100,000 people nationwide that would gain access to stand-alone solar systems and lanterns.
The statement quotes World Bank Liberia Country Manager Inguna Dobraja as saying the 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.
Expansion of electricity access would be critical to expand access to electricity services in remote areas that are not likely to be connected to the national grid in the foreseeable future, and to promote nationwide use of renewable sources of energy away from more expensive imported fuel.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors emphasized that LIRENAP would also contribute to the Libe-rian Government’s eﬀorts to rebuild the economy after the Ebola outbreak since the project’s area of major intervention will be in Lofa County that was harshly affected by the epidemic.
“This project targets the construction of a hydro-power plant near Kolahun on the Kaiha River, distribution lines and facilitating connections for households, businesses and public entities,” Clemencia Torres de Mästle and David Vilar, World Bank Co-Task Team Leaders noted.
The World Bank Co-Task Team Leaders added major towns to beneﬁt from this hydropower plant includes Voinjama, Foya, Kohalun, Massambolahun, Bolahun and other surrounding areas
The release explained that LIRENAP will be implemented by the Rural and Renewable Energy Agency, (RREA) of Liberia and 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 decentralized electriﬁcation. The World Bank statement further said the project is also aiming at enhancing the capacity of the RREA.
It can be recalled that in February 2014, with the ﬁ-nancing of the World Bank, RREA completed and handed over to the Government of Liberia a rehabilitated and expanded 60 kilowatts mini-hydro plant in Yando-hun, Lofa County. The present LIRENAP builds upon the experience gained from this pilot project and seeks to expand the beneﬁts of developing the hydro-electrical potential of the country.