The Project Manager of the Project Implementation Unit that is constructing the Mount Coffee Dam has assured the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Dana Hyde, that the December 14 date set to turn on the first turbine for electricity in Monrovia will certainly be met.
Project Manager Bill Hikins gave the assurance on Tuesday, when Hyde toured the facility with US Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder.
In his briefing during the tour, Mr. Hikins said 77 percent of the work has been completed, and that soon the waterway to the old turbine will be diverted to the new power station, where the first new turbine has been installed.
According to Mr. Hikins, the remaining work on the hydro plant is to be completed in 2017, at which time the 88 megawatts currently produced by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) plant would have increased.
Hikins said it is also certain that the increase in megawatts will drop the cost of electricity bill from 0.35 cents to 0.06 cents and significantly raise the number of connected customers from 40,000 to 90,000, with major public facilities and business centers benefiting also.
In addition to the work done on the dam, Mr. Hikins said his company is also erecting steel poles from the dam to Monrovia, running the high tension wires as well as working on the road to White Plains.
For her part, the MCC boss expressed appreciation for the level of work done on the dam, adding, “I am happy to see such tremendous work done in a relatively short period of time.”
She said the United States, as a major partner championing Power Africa under the Obama administration, will continue the support to ensure that the goal to reduce poverty in Africa is realized.
Madam Hyde said apart from ordinary customers, the dam will also benefit hospitals and other health facilities, as well as major business entities that have faced high energy costs.
She said the work at the dam is progressing as expected, which is an encouraging sign that other US government projects, including transportation, will also progress.
The hydro project is sponsored by partners including the MCC, Germany and Norway.
Out of the total cost of US$360 million, the MCC is providing US$146 million.
The project was launched in 2014, but was halted due to the Ebola outbreak.