The first phase of the reservoir impoundment (filling the reservoir with water) of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Dam Project in Harrisburg has been completed, paving the way for the commissioning of the first 22 megawatt turbine in December.
“By October 19, the team on the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project successfully completed the reservoir impoundment (filling the reservoir with water). This major milestone is a pre-condition for commissioning of the first turbine,” Bill Hakin, Project Director of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) said.
On October 15, the spillway gates were gradually closed in order to increase the water level in the reservoir. On Wednesday, October 19, the water level reached 28 metres above sea level (masl), which is just one meter below the maximum operating level.
“This is a significant milestone in the project for us, because at this water level, we are now able to start testing the first turbine unit, and this wouldn’t have been possible without great team work and a lot of dedication,” said Hakin.
Despite a number of challenges, he said, the project is still on track to allow the hydropower facility to deliver electricity to the LEC grid by mid December 2016 as planned.
Local fishermen were evidently also pleased with this result since it is 26 years since the water level has been this high in the reservoir, and it is now ripe for fishing, a press release from the Liberia Electricity Corporation said yesterday.