LIBERIA: JEP Gets Five Years Micro Utility Distribution License
In accordance with the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia (ELL), the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC) on 13th August issued a five-year Large Micro Utility Distribution License to Jungle Energy Power (JEP) in Nimba County.
The Large Micro Utility Distribution License now allows JEP to distribute electricity without discrimination to customers and residents within the Nimba Distribution Area and in accordance with the license terms and conditions.
LERC’s Chairman Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo speaking during the licensing ceremony said the expectations of Liberians in respect of accessing reliable and affordable electricity is high and the Commission would like to send a clear and distinct message that Liberia is open for the critical investment required to cover the infrastructure deficit of the electricity sector.
“The Commission has developed the Tariff Regulations and the Technical Codes which will further define the rules for ensuring smooth operation and the sustainability of the electricity sector”, Dr. Sekajipo told the audience at the licensing ceremony.
“What the Commission and consumers require of JEP is – distribution equipment reliability that will enhance customer service and confidence in the electricity supply industry” he averred.
The LERC’s Chairman Dr. Sekajipo said the Commission’s expectation is that JEP will commit to achieving these goals within the established targets and benchmarks as outlined in the terms and conditions of the License.
Responding, JEP’s CEO Flody Tomah challenged the Commission to remain steadfast and diligent in the issuance of licenses as experienced during JEP’s process. “We hope the Commission will not end up being another Liberian institution to accommodate other institutions”, he said.
The Liberia businessman explained that JEP’s engagement within the electricity sector was a pilot project on how a private entity can operate a public entity and described it as being a success story and have learnt several lessons over the years.
Mr. Tomah said JEP inherited the distribution system from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) with 700 postpaid customers and 29 transformers but now has over 7000 customers with smart meters and now installed 44 new transformers across its operational areas.
Currently, JEP is expanding to other larger cities and towns in Nimba County, the JEP CEO revealed to LERC and guests at the licensing ceremony.
He said JEP is providing services to nearly all public and private institutions operating within the county including major concessions.
“JEP is ready and willing to work with the donor community to provide affordable electricity to underprivileged communities, towns and villages in Nimba County as done in other areas across the country”, Mr. Tomah said.
Mr. Tomah assured the Commission that JEP will follow the terms and conditions of the license and is prepared to even go beyond what is required to ensure that affordable electricity is provided to the people of Nimba County.
The ceremony was graced by LERC’s Commissioners, Nimba County officials, stakeholders, representatives from the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) and among others.
The Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission is an autonomous independent entity established by Chapter 13 of the 2015 ELL for the establishment of a national Regulator.