Increasing Access to Electricity in Liberia
Millennium Challenge Corporation
Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant Rehabilitation
- MCC, along with other donors, increased production from 0 to 88 megawatts for Liberia’s largest electricity asset. While MCHPP was successfully rehabilitated, ongoing operations and maintenance is underfunded, increasing the risk of turbine or plant failure, additional rehabilitation costs, and potential emergency situations.
Utility, Regulatory, and Grid-Level Outcomes
- The Liberia Electricity Company (LEC) has been in a grave financial situation for the last decade. The MCC-funded management services contract (MSC) assumed responsibility in 2018. While the MSC has made some progress, LEC requires funding for operations and capital expenses, and a systematic response to theft and corruption to ensure functionality and sustainability currently and post-Compact in 2021.
- The Liberian Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) was established as part of the project, but commissioners believe that donor financing is essential beyond 2021 for the commission to be an independent, transparent, accountable, and sustainable agency.
- Energy provided by the Liberia Electricity Company is cheaper than other sources. However, new connections have lagged well below targets, leading to illegal connections and increased commercial losses.
Millennium Challenge Corporation’s $257 million Liberia Compact (2016–2021) aims to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty by improving access to reliable and affordable electricity. The Compact funded the $202 million Energy Project to generate low-cost power by rehabilitating the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant (MCHPP), to build capacity in the utility company, and to establish an independent regulator. The project aims to increase production and distribution of lower cost, quality electricity, reduce tariffs and user costs, and connect Liberians to affordable electric power.