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World Bank To Give Liberia US$300M To Construct New Dam

The World Bank has pledged a monumental sum of US$300 million to finance and bolster Liberia’s electricity infrastructure with the construction of another hydroelectric dam.

The dam, which is expected to be built on the St. Paul River, in lower Bong County, is an ambitious project which seeks to address the country’s long standing electricity deficit, which perpetuated socioeconomic challenges and stifled opportunities for growth and development.

The Bank provides a glimmer of hope for the nation’s future, financing the construction of another dam, which once completed, is expected to significantly contribute to Liberia’s electricity grid, enabling more Liberians to have access to consistent power.

“The project, when completed, will significantly increase Liberia’s hydropower generation capacity by an additional 150 megawatts,” Adolphus Scott, the Communications Manager of the Liberia Electricity Corporation said in a release.

“This hydro project will be the second of four dams to be constructed along the St Paul River. The World Bank announced the pledge at a donor conference following an executive order signed by the President, constituting a Steering Committee to oversee the implementation and ensure the successful completion of the dam project,” Scott added.

He claimed that the World Bank’s Energy Practice Manager of Liberia is motivated to support the project as a result of the national grid operator’s “spectacular financial and operational performance” over the past year and “the trajectory of these performance indicators.”

Other projects the Bank is currently supporting include the repair of Unit 1 at the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, maintenance of thermal power plants at Bushrod, expansion of Mt. Coffee by two additional turbines and generators, and distribution and transmission and technical assistance projects, the release claimed.

It added that the power utility company was “praised” as the only utility in West and Central Africa that is reducing electric distribution losses at a level not seen elsewhere.

The dam project when completed, together with the ongoing Mt. Coffee expansion project under RESPITE, will increase Liberia’s hydropower generation capacity to 278 megawatts.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Presidential Legal Advisor, Cllr. Archibald Bernard, also a member of the SP2 Steering Committee,

The President’s vision of providing the people of Liberia with reliable and affordable green electricity is becoming reality,” said Cllr. Archibald Bernard, President George Weah’s legal advisor.

Bernard, who is also a member of the SP2 Steering Committee, claimed that his government is looking beyond the pending project that will provide all-year-round hydroelectric energy for Liberia.

“Green energy generation is at the core of his Pro-Poor Agenda. He also noted that stable, affordable, and plentiful green energy can meet social, economic, and development needs; and even export excess power to other African countries.”

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