24 January 2014

Liberia: Gov't Breaks Grounds for Reconstruction of Mount Coffee Hydro-Plant

Photo: Liberia Government
Remains of the looted Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant outside Monrovia.

At long last, the Liberian government will break grounds for the reconstruction of the Mount Coffee Hydro Power-Plant, a flagship project of President Johnson Sirleaf.

The hydro reconstruction is part of an aggressive government program to redevelop the country's energy sector, shattered by prolonged civil and political unrest.

President Johnson Sirleaf is expected to lead an array of government officials, and donor partners to the ground breaking for civil works construction tomorrow Saturday, January 25, 2014.

With the hydro generating 80megawatt during the raining season, the government had indicated that current cost of electricity at $ 0.54 per kilowatt hour would be reduced by half.

Sometime last year, Finance Minister Amara Konneh announced that the Liberian government had mobilized close to 1.2 billion dollar to support $1.2 billion for priority infrastructure projects - such as the Mount Coffee hydro-plant expected to increase power supply for Liberia.

"We want to extend the energy supply to households and businesses and across the whole country. To this end we are working with our development partners, the Japanese Government and World Bank, to build three power plants over the next 2 years, for a total of 38MW. Out of the 38MW capacity, the18MW is being financed through our budget," he said.

The Mount Coffee Hydro Electric Power Plant, which is co-financed by the Governments of Liberia, Norway and Germany, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank, capacity will jump to 80MW once completed. The government share of the financing is US $ 47 million dollars.

According to the government's energy strategy, it intends to subscribe with the regional power plan - West African Power Pool (WAPP) that will create an integrated grid among Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra-Leone & Guinea (CLSG), costing an estimated $415 million US$202 million will be spent on Liberia to linking Yekepa, Buchanan, Mt Coffee.

This project is supported by Liberian Government, World Bank, AfDB, & Germany and that a separate $14 million EU cross-border project will electrify Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland.

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