The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $34.74m funding to increase renewable energy access in Liberia.

The funding will be used for two projects that include Renewable Energy for Electrification of Liberia (REEL Project) and Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries.

The REEL project has received over $33m, initially in the form of a grant from AfDB and Scaling-up Renewable Energy program of Strategic Climate Fund that supports renewable energy sector growth.

The funding will be utilised to build a mini dam on the St. John River in Nimba County in northeastern Liberia and development of a 9.34MW hydropower plant on the Gbedin Falls.

The power generated by the hydropower plant will be transmitted through an 8km, 33kV line that connects 7,000 households.

It will also allow expansion of the power grid to isolated localities and support the connection of schools, health centres, businesses and industries to the national grid.

Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries project received $1m from AfDB

Liberia finance & development planning minister Samuel Tweah said that “the project, scheduled for completion by 2024, would help unlock one of the main constraints to economic development — access to a reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of electricity.”

AfDB has provided the additional $1m for Support to Investment Promotion Agencies in Transition Countries from its Transition Support Facility.

The project is expected to promote the business investment in the country and build the capacity of the National Investment Commission.

AfDB Liberia manager Orison Amu said: “As a Bank we understand the challenges faced by Government and the efforts underway to attract Foreign Direct Investment.

“This project aims at contributing to those ongoing efforts by (the Liberian) government.”

Recently, the bank has approved an €8m grant from the European Union’s Africa Investment Platform (EU-AIP) to support the preparation of the Ruzizi IV Hydropower Project, which is to be located on the Ruzizi River between Rwanda and Congo.