7 December 2012

Liberia: BR Technical Training Center Nearing Completion in Grand Bassa

The Buchanan Renewable (BR) Technical Training Center is nearing completion, our reporter, who travelled to Grand Bassa County over the weekend, has said. According to our reporter, the company has received commendation from citizens for the initiative.

A cross section of citizens, who spoke to him in the port city of Buchanan and Big Joe Town, Grand Bassa County, described the project as a meaningful venture in the educational drive of the county, especially in the area of technical and vocational education (TVET).

The project, which according to the company, costs around US$20 million , began last year immediately following an official ground breaking ceremony by Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai on January 9. When completed, the company will also collaborate with the Grand Bassa Community College (GBCC) to train students in the fields of mechanics and engineering amongst others.

Buchanan Renewables is a privately owned renewable resources and energy company with two core businesses in Liberia. Buchanan Renewables Fuel (BR Fuel) was said to be a biomass producer for power production by converting unproductive rubber trees into woodchips.

The company exports its woodchips to power utilities that use them to reduce their fossil based emissions by substituting biomass for coal. BR Fuel, it was said, ensures the sustainability of its business by making sure that at least one tree is replanted for every tree removed.

In the future, the company says unproductive rubber wood will also be used to fuel the 36 megawatt power plant that Buchanan Renewables Power (BR Power) plans to build near Kakata, Liberia. BR Power's plant will produce affordable, reliable base load power in Liberia using renewable, domestic feedstock, said the company, but BR is yet to turn on a single light bulb through its biomass power production program since its coming to Liberia.

"We, as citizens of this county, want to thank BR for its many good initiatives, especially at the level of the GBCC," said Dr. Levi Zangai, President of the GBCC who also spoke to this writer. Even though the technical training center is not yet completed, Dr. Zangai said the company has already begun training students of the college in the area of TVET.

It can be recalled that last year, BR supported GBCC's program for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment by training five females students in auto mechanic. The company also gave to these student trainees a stipend of US$50.00 per month for their food.

"The completion of this technical training center will mean a lot for the people of Grand Bassa County, especially our youthful population. We want to thank them for the step taking towards the human resource development of our children," commented one Rachel Gboeh, who was amongst several persons that heaped praises on the company for the initiative.

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