Monrovia – June 25, 2014
The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has on June 13, 2014, signed a contract with Andritz Hydro GmbH (Andritz), a global supplier of electro-mechanical systems and services for hydropower plants, based in Austria. Andritz will carry out the Rehabilitation, Design, Supply and lnstallation of Hydraulic Steelworks and Auxiliary Systems for the Mount Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project.
The Hydraulic Steelworks Contract includes rehabilitation of the ten radial gates and the stop-logs at the spillway, which control the storage and flow of the river water, as well as rehabilitation of the four penstocks, which regulate the water flow in the power plant, and various embedded parts at the site. The Contract also includes the design, supply and installation of various components including new stop-logs at the spillway, intake, and draft tube; gantry cranes at the spillway and draft tube; intake trash racks; and systems for auxiliary electrical supply, cooling water, drainage, unit dewatering, and air compression. The work will be carried out between June 2014 and May 2016.
Andritz was awarded the contract following an international competitive bidding process. The procurement process included an initial qualification of bidders, a process which selects the best potential contractors based on demonstrated technical experience, financial capacity, and qualified personnel. The qualified bidders are then invited to submit full technical and financial proposals. Following the evaluation of these documents, based on criteria included in the bidding documents, Andritz’s proposal was judged to be the most responsive and of best value to the project.
In order to maintain the targeted project schedule of first power in December 2015, LEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Andritz Hydro on May 15, 2014, which enabled Andritz to begin some of the early engineering works while contract negotiations were being finalized. Though this is not a typical practice, it has successfully been followed in previous Mt. Coffee contracting processes as part of the project’s fast-track approach. The MOU afforded LEC and Andritz sufficient time to ensure the details of the final contract were carefully considered without compromising the project schedule. LEC has been very pleased with the commitment demonstrated by Andritz Hydro throughout the process.
Liberia´s considerable development challenges, combined with the fact that all of LEC´s current generation capacity is sourced from costly diesel generators, underlines the urgency in getting the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant in operation in the shortest possible time. Work on the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project began in May 2012 with the establishment and development of the Mt. Coffee Project Implementation Unit at LEC. Engineering of the turbines and generators for the plant, under the Generating Equipment Contract with Voith Hydro, began in August 2013 and manufacturing of this equipment is underway. Construction began on site with the Enabling Works Contractor, Dawnus International, in January 2014, marked by an official Presidential ground-breaking ceremony. Good progress has been made, and work is ongoing.
To date four of the seven main project contracts have been awarded, including the first Mt. Coffee contract, for Owner’s Engineer services, which was awarded to Norplan-Fichtner JV of Norway and Germany. The Owner’s Engineer is responsible for project design and planning, procurement management, and construction management. Procurement of the contracts for Substations and Transmission Lines is in final stages. Construction of the transmission lines between the Mt. Coffee plant and the Bushrod and Paynesville substations in Monrovia will commence by the end of 2014. Procurement of the Main Civil Works contract is in process. Construction of the main civil works, including rehabilitation of the main dam, will begin in January 2015.
In addition, LEC is currently tendering an Operation, Maintenance and Capacity Building Services Contract for the Mt. Coffee plant, which is still accepting applications.
LEC still aims to complete the project by the end of the year 2016, and the target for first commercial power from the plant remains December 2015. Updates on progress and pictures of the works at site are available on the project Web site at http://www.mtcoffeeliberia.com/newsite.