The Government of Liberia has endorsed a proposal by Nigerian billionaire and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, to construct a 20 megawatt power plant in the country to primarily provide electricity for a cement factory that is to be constructed by the businessman soon.
The decision by the Cabinet over the weekend in Monrovia was done with the careful revision of the economic outlook of the country and the endorsement of a number of measures to ensure microeconomic stability, one of which is the Small Business Empowerment Report.
The government and the Dangote Business group, few years ago, identified seven acres of land at the Freeport of Monrovia for the construction of a cement processing plant and a jetty, which will be complemented by the construction of the 20 megawatt power plant.
Mr. Dangote is ranked the 43rd richest person in the world by Forbes Magazine.
1.2 of the 20 megawatts of the coal-burning power plant will be used on Dangote’s cement factory operations while the government will buy the remaining at 12 cents per kilowatt hour maximum.
Dangote will need 30 acres of land for the plant’s boilers and cooling plants, along with access to a source of sweet water – where the water table is high.
President Sirleaf said at a courtesy call in 2014 that three heavy fuel oil power plants were to come online soon, but were not enough to put the country on the right footing for power generation.
“Hydro represents the best form of power generation for Liberia because of the country’s abundant rainfall and many rivers — in the wet season, that is. Other sources of power are needed in the dry season.
This could be addressed through an upstream dam producing 1,000 megawatts of power,” she said.
Mr. Dangote pointed out that throughout Africa, the major issue is power. “No power, no growth,” he declared. Any economy will climb to double digits once there is power at the right price, he said. With affordable power people will produce products locally, will gravitate to the private sector, leading to the creation of a middle class.
The Dangote Group also has numerous business interests in many countries. It also has approved an $800 million investment proposal to establish a cement factory in the Surkhet district of the Asian country of Nepal.
The Dangote Cement – Africa’s largest cement manufacturer – aimed to invest more than US$4 billion to expand its production and import capacity to around 50 million tons a year by the end of 2015.
It is targeting a radical expansion plan across Africa which will include factories in Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Gabon, Benin, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and the Republic of Congo, while importing and bagging facilities are planned for countries including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.