As part of efforts to improve Liberia's electricity regulatory regime, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC), Dr. Lawrence D. Sekajipo recently paid a three-day working visit to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and Energy Commission (EC) in Ghana.
PURC and EC are the two electricity sector regulators charged with undertaking economic and technical regulations respectively in neighboring Ghana.
In separate visits to the two institutions, Dr. Sekajipo briefed commissioners and executives at PURC and EC on progress made by the LERC in the development of various regulations for the electricity sector in Liberia.
Dr. Sekajipo informed his counterparts that since the creation of the Commission for the first-time a tariff decision was reached scientifically rather than politically as done in the past.
On the issue of power theft, Dr. Sekajipo said the Commission was opened to learn from the Ghana experience to address challenges faced by operators and LERC in Liberia.
In remarks Dr. Ishmael Ackah, Executive Secretary of PURC, informed Dr. Sekajipo, that PURC has approved and implemented ten major tariff decisions since establishment apart from the quarterly reviews.
Dr. Ackah explained that PURC has enacted various regulations, established performance benchmarks for operators and the digitalization of its operations.
On the issue of challenges faced by PURC, Dr. Ackah pointed out the lack of adequate, prompt, and credible data from key stakeholders, political interference, inadequate funds due to low collection rate of utilities, among others.
At the Energy Commission, Dr. Sekajipo met the team headed by Mr. Anthony Bleboo, Director of Electricity and Water. Mr. Bleboo briefed the LERC chairman that the emphasis of the EC is to regulate and manage the development and use of energy resources in Ghana, specifically in electricity licensing, renewable energy, natural gas, and energy efficiency.
Mr. Bleboo explained that part of the EC's responsibilities is to set standards for electrical materials and produce a curriculum for the examination and certification of electricians working in Ghana.
During the visit, Dr. Sekajipo toured various solar and thermal plants including the Meinergy Solar Power Station. Meinergy Solar Power Station is a 20 MW solar PV plant.