The Board Chairman of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Ian Yhap, has disclosed that the turbine at Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant, which has the capacity of 22 megawatts, will finally come on line on Thursday, December 15.
Announcing the development yesterday at the Information Ministry’s regular Thursday press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Yhap said testing of the first generating unit of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant in Harrisburg is ongoing in Caldwell to ensure that the inauguration of the 22-megawatt turbine on December 15 is successful.
According to him, engineers from Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant and LEC are working now to have electricity on Bushrod Island from the hydro.
When distribution on Bushrod Island is completed, he said, “We will now start to distribute power to other parts of Monrovia. As we speak today, serious work is ongoing and things remain in control.”
Chairman Yhap said the second turbine, also with a capacity of 22 megawatts, will come on by February 15, 2017, with the remaining two turbines coming on after four months.
“We want to thank the government and partners for the support. We want to also thank all the engineers for working tirelessly to ensure that we have power as scheduled,” Chairman Yhap said.
Meanwhile, he said the board of LEC has appointed a new management team that is energetic, hardworking and motivated to steer the affairs of the corporation from January 2017.
“We need to develop the capacity, because Liberians have not been managing such a system for many years. We have also called on our international partners to help in building our capacity. We have some new things now in LEC and everyone is going through the learning process,” he said.
The first phase of the reservoir impoundment (filling the reservoir with water) of the Dam Project was successfully completed on October 19 this year.
On October 15, the spillway gates were gradually closed in order to increase the water level in the reservoir, he said.
Currently, the water level has increased to 28.5 meters above sea level, which is just 0.5 meters below the maximum operating level.
During the testing exercise, he said customers may experience brief and periodic interruptions in power supply. The testing will continue up to December 15, when the first operations of the hydropower plant are officially inaugurated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Meanwhile, the LEC management has issued an apology for any inconvenience as a result of this exercise and has asked for the support of the Liberian people leading up to this very important milestone for the nation.