Power Theft Obstructs LEC’s Operation
-Loses Over US$4 Million Monthly
Amid unabated power theft, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has reported that it is losing 62-percent of its revenue, amounting to US$4.26M monthly. This disclosure was made recently by LEC Board member and Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia during a development conference in Monrovia organized by the United states Agency for International Development, (USAID).Monie Captan of the Millennium Challenge Account-Liberia said, the problem is compounded by lack of connection materials that limits the corporation`s capacity to expand connections and generate the needed revenue to sustain itself as a viable public utility.
In spite of the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power plant and the generation of 88 Mega Watts, transmission and distribution is still limited.
Mr. Captan said, independent power producers that will be registered and licensed by the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) presents the opportunity to address the demand gap.
The Electricity Law of 2015 created the LERC as the regulator of the electricity sector that will receive applications, screen, register and license private companies that apply to provide power.
In a dispatch issued in Monrovia dated June 27, 2019, LERC Executive Director, Augustus Goanu said, the private sector had historically provided more access to electricity than the LEC.
Mr Goanu added that the electricity sector needs to be privatized so that Liberia generates more revenue to ensure effective service delivery. According to him, an Independent resource plan is needed aside the donor support as a basis for sustainability.
“Additional connections are expected to be done under the Regional power pool, renewable energy, mini-grid and cross border power supply as additional opportunities for increasing access to electricity in both rural and urban regions,” the dispatch said.
According to the dispatch, this will generate growth and sustain the expansion; Mr. Captan said, donor partnership will be needed to expand the national access and shifting generation source to more renewable energy. “The lack of access to more reliable and affordable electricity is one key constraint to improving the economy of Liberia and reducing poverty.”