The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Liberia Electricity Corporation, (LEC), Monie R. Captan, (LEC), has boasted of decentralization of the LEC as he discloses plans by the entity to erect 150 megawatts of Hydro Plant in Bong Mine.
The LEC Boss stated that the project is aimed at expanding electricity to places that do not have access to power, citing that the assessment of the site has been done.
According to him, the 150 megawatts plant will be bigger than the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant which has 88 megawatts and is now the major source of electricity in the country.
He disclosed that all the power being used currently comes from the hydro, citing that the construction of another hydro plant will help address the issue of electricity in Liberia.
The LEC Boss announced that the Liberia Electricity Corporation is ready and is about to provide electricity to the Robert International Airport and the entire corridor leading to the Airport.
Mr. Captan revealed that there are two substations of LEC which are being built in Margibi County that are going to adequately provide electricity to that part of the country, noting, “The only reason we are not on right now is because of the delay caused by the road construction. Not for that, we would have been on”.
The Chief Executive Officer at LEC stated that Liberians are about to enjoy electricity because what the institution is doing is to prepare for the future because he believes the entity is the key gateway to economic growth in Liberia.
The LEC Boss highlighted that before investors come to any country, they firstly assess the issue of electricity, stressing that no company, factory, and restaurant would like to run on generators because it is expensive to run these things on just generators.
Mr. Captan added that firms, factories, restaurants, and other entities duly rely on electricity to adequately function, stating that this has been one of the reasons investors have not been pouring in the country because no investor would come into a country where there is scarcity of energy which plays an essential role in producing goods.
Meanwhile, Mr. Captan has said that the LEC will not run out of meters in the next three years once the government gets what it has procured already.
“There are about 300 thousand meters being procured, and that there are 100 thousand meters on their way coming to Liberia. LEC prioritizes meters because it is very important and wants each household to have access to meters.” Mr. Captan noted.
Meanwhile, the LEC Boss informed the public that it has drastically clamp down on power theft citing that the reduction in the illegal activity has dropped from 50-30 percent as he called on Liberians to exercise their civic duty by honestly availing themselves for the purchasing of meters.
Mr. Captan disclosed that the entity is edging closer to the average range of 25 percent which he described as the first accomplishment for power theft, saying that if power theft is reduced to the mentioned percent, it will boost the sustainability and maintenance of the biggest provider of energy in the country.
He announced that there were 17,000 customers connected during the special operation of the Anti-Power Theft Task Force, stating that there is a huge growth of LEC’s customers.
“Despite all the challenges we have and with the support of the government, I can tell you that the President has put electricity high on his agenda. Since we took over, we have provided transformers to communities that did not have transformers or communities that had damaged transformers. It is a very expensive exercise; a transformer is not a light bulb,” the LEC official said.
He said that the rebuilding of LEC requires all hands-on deck because the entity is not a foreign entity, so he sincerely cautioned all Liberians to join in this fight because it will benefit the country by making a significant economic progression.
Mr. Captan unveiled that no investor will come to a country where there is no good electricity, describing LEC as the agent of change which has provided a huge opportunity for the citizenry.
“If we don’t bring power theft under control, LEC will collapse. Because we can’t continue to provide electricity when we just have people stealing the current and you expect us to buy wires, meters, and transformers. I don’t think we should depend on power theft law to protect us; we should use our own conscience to protect the LEC”, he asserted.
Upon taking office at the LEC, Mr. Captan said they firstly ventured into assessing what could be the major problem of the entity, unveiling that the issue of meters was very key and is the main reason people used to connect to the electrical grid illegally.
Against this backdrop, Mr. Captan revealed that he and his team immediately embarked on the provision of meters as a means of reducing power theft.
LEC under a Liberian Management, according to Mr. Captan, has made a huge progress over the years, naming the reduction of power theft, provision of transformers and meters and further noting that since the foundation of the LEC, no management has bought meters on its own, but he said under the current management, 6000 meters were brought in on the expense of the government.
“We Liberians can run LEC, and we can do a good job if we are given the opportunity. And even if I were to ask all of you here, how was the past dry season in terms of stability of electricity? It was not too bad as with load-shedding as compared to previous years. And that is because we planned for the dry season, and we will continue to plan because LEC is growing on a daily basis,” the LEC Boss concluded.