Liberia has received a $23.25 million grant from the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) to enable it transform its renewable energy sector through the development of a 9.8-megawatt power plant.
The plant to be constructed at Gbedin Falls on the Mano River in Nimba County will provide low-cost, sustainable and reliable electricity across Liberia which will be transmitted via the existing Liberia-Cote d’Ivore cross-border transmission line.
The CIF is one of the largest climate financing instruments globally. It provides grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments and equity to developing countries leveraging on funding from the private sector; multilateral development banks including the African Development Bank (AfDB), which also implement CIF projects and programs; and other sources.
The project will be funded by Scaling-up Renewable Energy Program (SREP), a CIF program which empowers transformation in developing countries by demonstrating the economic, social and environmental viability of renewable energy.
“Liberia has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world with less than 2 percent of households having access to electricity services nationwide and therefore expanding access to electricity is not only vital but should be one of the country’s topmost priorities”, said Leandro Azevedo, AfDB’s CIF Coordinator and Senior Climate Change Officer.
The project is expected to reduce the use of highly polluting stand-alone diesel generators that power Liberian businesses and households and improve the conditions of health and education infrastructure.
It will supply electricity to 500, 000 people.
The Director of AfDB’s Climate Finance and Climate Change Department Anthony Nyong pointed out that the grant will also help the Government of Liberia to prioritize its resources into the sectors of the economy and society depleted by the 2014 Ebola Crisis in the country.