September 24, 2013
Mt. Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project:
Public Announcement of Survey Works along Mt. Coffee Transmission Line Routes
The Mt. Coffee Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) is pleased to announce the start of survey works in the area of the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant in Harrisburg and along the routes of the transmission lines for the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant. International Construction & Engineering, Inc. (ICE) has been contracted by Norplan-Fichtner JV, the Owner’s Engineer for the Mt. Coffee project, to carry out the work.
Rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant has been prioritized by the Government of Liberia. Funding has been secured from the Government of Norway, European Investment Bank, and KfW Development Bank of Germany. The Government of Liberia will finance about 20% of the project. The project includes rehabilitation of the hydropower plant and reservoir, the construction of a 66 kilovolt (kV) substation at Mount Coffee, construction of two high voltage (66 kV) transmission lines between Mt. Coffee and Monrovia, and the expansion of the Paynesville and Bushrod substations in Monrovia. The project does not include distribution of the hydropower-based electricity all the way to households; this remains the responsibility of LEC under separate projects.
Work on the Mt. Coffee project began in May 2012 with the establishment of the PIU at LEC. To date, the PIU has completed the high-level planning for the project, and has contracted the Owner’s Engineer to carry out the detailed planning and procurement activities and to supervise construction. Tendering for the generating equipment (turbines and generators) has been completed and engineering of the turbines has already started. Tendering is underway for preparatory civil works and for the hydraulic steel works for the powerhouse. Tenders for the remaining civil works, the transmission lines and substations, and access road upgrades will be announced in the coming months.
Visible work at the site is anticipated to start in January 2014. The project is on schedule to start producing power from the first turbine in December 2015. Full completion of the project will occur by December 2016.
As part of the project, LEC will construct two high-voltage transmission lines from the Mt. Coffee plant in Harrisburg. One line will follow Caldwell Road to the Bushrod substation at the port. The other line will follow Pipeline Road to the Paynesville Station at Red Light. LEC is committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of communities living in the areas of the hydropower plant, dam, reservoir, substations, and transmission lines. For this reason, LEC is undertaking a survey that will cover all of these areas. The purpose of the survey along the rights of way of the transmission lines is to identify the best route that will avoid disrupting households, farming activities, businesses, schools, health centers, places of worship, grave sites, and other sensitive sites. The survey will be conducted both on the ground and from the air, using a remote sensing technology called LiDAR (light + radar) that is operated from a helicopter.
Between September 24 and September 30, 2013, the International Construction & Engineering firm will be installing semi-permanent markers in 10 places along the Pipeline and Caldwell roads, which will be used by the helicopter to orient the survey. These are called “ground control points.” These markers will be removed after the survey is complete.
Between October 1 and October 7, 2013, the helicopter survey will be carried out along the routes of the transmission lines as well as in the areas of the reservoir and powerhouse in Harrisburg.
In October and November, after the LiDAR (helicopter) survey is complete, the Owner’s Engineer, along with LEC teams, will begin ground surveys to identify the location of each tower or electricity pole along the transmission lines. As part of this process, LEC will finalize the Resettlement Action Plan for the transmission lines and is committed to preserving the economic well-being of all persons affected by the project.
The rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant will enable the provision of electricity to Monrovia and beyond that is affordable, environmentally friendly, and reliable. LEC anticipates that hydropower generation will allow for the tariff to be reduced to at least half of present levels (approx. US 25 cents per kilowatt-hour). This will improve the economy of Liberia as it improves the ability of households and business owners to conduct their daily affairs without struggle.
In recognition of these important goals and the benefits that Mt. Coffee will bring to all citizens of Liberia, LEC asks the kind cooperation and support of all residents living in the above described areas as these tasks are carried out. Any concerns or questions can be directed to the PIU at 020 200 2396. Information on the project and the progress made to date can be obtained on the project Web site at http://www.mtcoffeeliberia.com/newsite.