Monrovia – May 13, 2015
The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has on May 6, 2015 signed a contract with ELTEL, a Sweden-based provider of technical services in the power, communication and transportation sectors, for the installation of high-voltage transmission lines from the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant in Harrisburg to the LEC substations in the commercial districts of Paynesville and Bushrod Island. The installation of these transmission lines is a major step towards the restoration of the much needed electricity to the people and citizens of Liberia.
The Mt. Coffee Contract 4B, Transmission Lines, includes new construction of two double-circuit 132 kV transmission lines (24 km and 27 km each) from Mt. Coffee to the two Monrovia sub-stations on self-supported lattice steel towers and steel poles, and dismantling of old existing lattice steel towers or wooden poles and foundations. Work on the contract is expected to begin in June 2015 with the engineering, design, and manufacturing; construction will begin later in the year and will be carried out over approximately 18 months. The contract was awarded following a competitive bidding process.
The company to which the contract has been awarded is no stranger to the provision of transmission and distribution construction services in Liberia through the Liberia Electricity Corporation. Following prior competitive bidding processes, ELTEL has undertaken several works for the LEC over the past six years including the installation of the 66 kV network in Monrovia and many of the 22 kV distribution lines. In its work for LEC, ELTEL has partnered with local companies to install the electricity networks and has thus contributed to the capacity building goals of LEC and the country.
The Mt. Coffee project has made considerable progress since the end of the Ebola crisis. The procurement for the project is now substantially complete and the target date for first commercial power from the plant has been set for December 2016. Construction at the site resumes this month and full remobilization of contractors is underway.
The Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant was first constructed in 1964. The first phase, with an installed capacity of 30 Megawatts from two turbines, was commissioned and put in production in 1967. The second phase increased the installed capacity to 64 Megawatts. Following the restoration of peace, rehabilitation of the MCHPP was identified as the best option for low-cost and sustainable energy generation in the near term. Liberia´s considerable development challenges, combined with the fact that all of LEC´s generation capacity is still sourced from costly diesel generators, underlines the urgency in getting the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant operable in the shortest possible time. The project is co-financed by the Government of Norway, Government of Germany, European Investment Bank and the Government of Liberia.