MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberia Electricity Corporation has received a new heavy fuel oil handling and storage facility valued at US$11 million.
The facility is a component of the World Bank-sponsored Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project, which aims to increase access to electricity and strengthen the institutional capacity of the energy sector.
Abu Dekontee Sanso, the project’s manager at the LEC, said the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy had entered into a contractual agreement with the China Harbor Engineering company for the demolition of old LEC tanks and pipelines and the construction of the new facility on Bushrod Island.
Sanso explained that phase one of the project, which commenced in May 2015, focused on the demolition of damaged pre-war storage tanks and pipe lines, site cleaning, preparation, and waste deposal.
“The project was finally completed January 2016,” Sanso said, adding that LEC applauds all parties involved with coordinating the project.
The new facility is expected to allow LEC to transport heavy fuel oil directly from a vessel that will dock at the China Union pier to the storage tanks.
Sanso said the facility would store 5,280,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil “that can support the continuous operation of 38 megawatts of thermal generation of the existing thermal power plants for a period of 90 days.”
Ernest R. Hughes, managing director of LEC, thanked the partners and donor community. He said there were challenges in the project implementation but said the LEC management was glad to see the end result.
“LEC spends lots of money for fuel storage and the new facility will be of great significance,” he said, adding that the money previously used for storage would now be repurposed.
Daniel Boakye, World Bank Country Economist, said the World Bank is pleased to be a part of the development process in Liberia.
He said the World Bank is hoping the facility will go a long way to support LEC to deliver on its statutory obligation to provide the rest of the country with electricity.
“The World Bank sees electricity as a very core component of the whole transformation agenda of Liberia,” Boakye said.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah