The World Bank is signing a financing agreement with the Liberian authorities. The international financial institution is lending $96 million for the construction of a 60 MWp solar photovoltaic plant.
A financing agreement was recently signed between the International Development Association (IDA) and the Liberian Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. The World Bank Group subsidiary will provide a $96 million loan to Liberia for the development of 60 MWp of installed solar capacity. This electricity will be produced on a single site.
According to Monie Captan, chairman of the board (PCA) of the state-owned Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the solar plant will be built in two phases at Mount Coffee. The first phase will have a capacity of 20 MWp followed by a second phase of 40 MWp. According to him, the solar park will take over from the Mount Coffee hydroelectric plant.
A sub-regional project
The output of this 88 MW plant tends to fall during the dry season, when the flow of the St. Paul River drops. The loan to Liberia is part of a $311 million financing package announced by the World Bank for renewable energy in West Africa and Chad.
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The funding is allocated under the Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project (RESPIT). This World Bank initiative aims to “rapidly” increase grid-connected renewable energy capacity and strengthen regional integration in participating countries. The project has four components, the first of which is the construction of solar photovoltaic plants, battery storage systems and grid connections.
The World Bank will finance all costs associated with the design, supply and installation as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) of the solar plants for one to four years. In addition to Liberia, Respit is being implemented in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad and Togo. “In a very short period of time, we have been able to come together to launch a major energy project that will increase the production of renewable energy and improve the capacity of the regional energy trade,” says Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy.
Jean Marie Takouleu