On August 15, 2019 the Millennium Challenge Account – Liberia (MCA-L) invited electricity sector stakeholders to validate the findings of the Electricity Operator Census. The Census was conducted in June/July following to create a database of operators. This will help the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) for registration and licensing of electricity operators.
The Census found 365 operators throughout Liberia, 73% of them were privately owned. There were 86 additional entities that were approached but did not provide information. According to the census, 323 operators together employ 1066 staff, among them 75 “Electrical engineers” and 504 “Electrical Techncians”.
While 50% of the operators (excluding LEC) generated less than 118MWh, average net generation was 607MWh – with one operator (Jungle Energy Power) being far the largest operator, not generating but importing electricity from Ivory Coast. Most operators (346) produced more than 50kw or 219 MWh per year. The vast majority (94%) claimed to be self-suppliers, only 42 of all operators sell electricity with rates ranging from 15 to 75 cents. The average rate charged to customers was 48 cents per kWh.
The Census report will also include recommendations for LERC. For instance, three types of licenses could be issued, for those above 500kW, 100 to 500kW and those with less 100Kw but with more than 50 customers. Self-suppliers should register without needing a license. A Micro utility could be defined as entities and or individuals who generate, distribute and or supply 219MWh or more. Distribution Voltage could be defined as all less than minimum transmission voltage of 33kV.
All stakeholders at the workshop discussed the findings. Recommendations and improvement suggestions were made. The Census report will soon be finalized and provides valuable information for the way forward towards establishing a regulatory framework for the electricity market in Liberia.