Mount Coffee hydropower plant in Liberia close to completion
Contractors constructing the gigantic electricity station at the regional Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant in Harrisburg, Liberia have been warned against failing to meet the completion date of March 2020, at which time Transco CLSG power transmission will be commissioned.
Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant was first built in the 1960s and fell into disuse during the war years. Its refurbishment will add 88mw to the national grid from its 4 turbines increasing the available power in a country badly in need of electricity.
Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant once online will be the country’s largest source of power and at only 88mw is indicative of the country’s need for further investment in this sector.
Future of the Plant
The CLSG line will be a 225 kV double circuit that will produce 486 megawatts of electricity. Power will be transmitted from Cote d’Ivoire to Liberia, and then to Sierra Leone and Guinea. Liberia plans to its use as a means of increasing its revenue generation and at the same time solve it’s power quandary once the lines are powered. The CLSG lines were expected to be turned on by the end of December this year but several challenges including the rainy season have led to the pushing of the deadline three months ahead.
When the power lines are on, TRANSCO CLSG will bring in the electricity from the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant to the sub-stations while LEC will sell to customers based on a transmission service agreement with TRANSCO CLSG and Power Purchase Agreement with Cote D’Ivoire. The project is expected to be a connection to which all the 14 ECOWAS states will be connected and so, Liberia will be able to export electricity or import electricity and big companies in the future will be able to buy energy.
The new deadline for March 2020 was decided during a meeting, held in Monrovia from Monday to Tuesday, December 9-10, which was attended by key donor partners including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the German Development Bank or KFW, after which an inspection of the sub-station on Wednesday followed. Mr Etienne Bailly, Director of the Project Implementation Unit of Transco CLSG emphasized that “failure is not an option” for the contractors and admonished them to collaborate and fast track the work.
There are also three other sub-stations that are also nearing completion. The sub-stations in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County; Yekepa, Nimba County; Bo-Waterside, Grand Cape Mount County are all expected to be commissioned in March next year with the exception of the fifth one in Botota in Bong county.