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ESIA for HFO Pipeline in Liberia

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for installation and operation of a heavy fuel oil (HFO) pipeline from the feed point within the Freeport of Monrovia to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) property on Bushrod Island, and construction of storage terminals for the HFO and other liquids on the LEC property.


The Project’s proponent is Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), a 100% public enterprise owned by the Government of Liberia established in 1973 with the sole provision of producing electrical energy and distributing it throughout Liberia.


The proposed project is a major component of the Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP). LACEEP is a World Bank financed project that will continue support to LEC and to the development of the electricity sector in general. The World Bank has been working very closely with the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME) and with the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) to rehabilitate and extend the network and expand electricity services in the country.


Activities to be supported under the new LACEEP include the rehabilitation and expansion of 56 kilometer (km) 66 kilovolt (kV) single circuit electrical transmission line between Paynesville and Kakata, also referred to as Paynesville-Kakata Electricity Transmission Line. A separate ESIA has been prepared by Earthtime for the transmission line.


LEC selected Earthtime to develop the ESIA in accordance with the Environment Protection and Management Law of The Republic of Liberia (November 26, 2002) and the World Bank’s Safeguard Policies - the international lending organization. The main objective of this ESIA is to ensure that the potential impacts from the construction, and operation of a heavy fuel oil (HFO) pipeline from the feed point within the Freeport of Monrovia to the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) property on Bushrod Island, and construction of storage terminals for the HFO and other liquids on the LEC property are identified, their significance is assessed, and appropriate mitigation measures are proposed to minimize or eliminate such impacts during a fair and visible timeframe with the consideration of the investment which has to be taken to international standards (specifically those of the World Bank Safeguard Policies and World Bank Group Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines of April 2007) to ensure that potential environmental and social impacts associated with development of the Project are identified, assessed and managed appropriately.


The proposed project is an important component in the revitalization of electricity sector in Liberia, a country desperately attempting to rebuild its infrastructure, rehabilitate its economy, attract investment, and improve the livelihood of its citizens following years of civil unrest and civil conflict.  The Liberian government is taking great strides to develop strategies and policies to promote sustainable development and sound environmental management. Infrastructure constraints or non-availability of power, water, and communications services are major impediments to economic recovery and growth. The Government of Liberia (GOL) has intensified its commitment to the provision of energy services through the recent development of a National Energy Policy (NEP) and supportive legislation, which calls for universal and sustainable access to affordable and reliable energy supplies in order to foster the economic, political, and social development of Liberia. LEC has expanded its customer base to more than 11,000 users, and the MLME has announced an ambitious plan to expand services to 70% of the population of Monrovia and 35% of the population country wide by 2030.


Achieving a reliable and environmentally sound supply of electrical energy is central to sustainable development that the GOL is endeavoring to promote and develop.  Improvements made in the energy sector will be instrumental in:


  • Establishing a major infrastructure component for the supply of vitally needed electricity;
  • Improving health and sanitation;
  • Reducing poverty and hunger;
  • Establishing employment, training, human resource development, and technology transfer opportunities;
  • Increasing earning potential;
  • Enabling industrial and commercial growth;
  • Encouraging community and rural developments; and
  • Contributing to the national treasury through tax payments.

Pre-conflict, Liberia’s installed electrical generating capacity was greater than 300 MW (LEC & privately owned generation), of which about 70 MW was from two main hydropower stations.  Current generation capacity from LEC is some 22 MW, in addition to capacity from private diesel units.  This is drastically short of the pre-conflict power demand in Monrovia alone.


Increasing population and demand for fuel wood (firewood) and charcoal places great pressure on environmental resources.  Threatened are biodiversity and forests given the unsustainable manner in which these traditional fuels are produced.


Improvements in the energy sector will play a crucial role in stabilizing and developing the social and economic welfare of the country and its people.  Energy is central to reducing poverty and hunger, improving health, and increasing literacy and education.  Insufficient and unreliable electricity sources will further inhibit economic growth and foreign investment.  The proposed Project will create substantial improvements in the country’s energy transmission in addition to the power produced at the power plant, and will provide positive socioeconomic benefits through the creation of jobs, education and training programs, decrease dependence on increasingly expensive fossil fuel imports and more desirable conditions for public-private partnerships and foreign investment.

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