President Sirleaf Breaks Ground Saturday, Kicking Off Mount Coffee Hydro Project

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The Daily Observer has reliably learnt that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will lead an array of Liberian government officials and development partners to the official ground-breaking of the Mount Coffee Hydro Project construction site on Saturday. The groundbreaking, Executive Mansion sources have hinted, will kick off construction of the country’s Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant, which aims to increase power generation by 80 megawatts.

The plant will provide more power to locals as well as export power to the West African Power Pool (WAPP) member states, energy sources have said.

The Daily Observer has also learnt that the Government of Liberia (GOL) and development partners have provided funding for the construction of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant which provided reliable power supply to Liberians and business houses until 1990, but was destroyed as a result of the civil war.

Although construction will start immediately following the ground-breaking on Saturday, the plant will only be able to produce power sometime in 2015. Until then, the Government of Liberia is exploring other alternative power sources, including the installation of heavy fuel oil (HFO) plants and the West African Power Pool project (WAPP) to beef up energy access across the country.

“The restoration of the Mount Coffee Hydro-Electric Plant is an urgent national priority for Liberia,” Finance Minister Amara Konneh has repeatedly said.

The rehabilitation is estimated to cost around US$300million, according to the European Union Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund.

It is expected that when the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant is fully rehabilitated, Liberia will be able to contribute power supply to its neighbors as a development partners to their economic viability.

Located in the Harrisburg Township of Careysburg District, Montserrado County, the Mount Coffee hydro plant lies on the Saint Paul River approximately 21 miles from Monrovia.

Prior to the First Liberian Civil War the plant produced 64 megawatts of electricity, which accounted for 35% of all electricity generated in the country.

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