The Mt. Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project provides for a sustainable and cost-efficient supply of electrical energy, and has replaced operations of emergency diesel engines and private aggregates that were previously used throughout the country. It has also facilitated continuation of the re-electrification of the capital, as well as the start of meaningful rural electrification in the country. This latter benefit is particularly relevant in light of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) regional transmission line project, which will connect the electricity systems of Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and is inextricably linked to the Mt. Coffee Rehabilitation. The Mt. Coffee Project has added considerable value to Liberia’s national welfare, and will serve as Liberia’s backbone electricity supply asset that will provide reliable, renewable power services to citizens and contribute to the restoration of economic growth to pre-war levels.
The economic costs of the project have included the economic capital costs, operation and maintenance cost inputs, and the economic price of land (e.g. foregone agricultural output). The economic benefits are far greater than the costs, and include the gross electricity economic benefits, avoided fuel costs, avoided greenhouse gas emissions, and many other direct and indirect economic and social benefits. The Project has yielded measurable environmental benefits by improving air quality and reducing air pollution; it has improved political and economic stability by contributing to Liberia’s energy independence and diversification of the economy’s energy portfolio, making Liberia less vulnerable to global oil market shocks. It has allowed for a significant decrease in the electricity tariff of nearly 50%.
The Project has displaced greenhouse gas emissions related to the combustion of diesel fuel powered generators and other potential fossil fuel based alternatives that would be deployed in the absence of the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant. The implementation of the Project has resulted in significant fuel savings arising from drastically reduced fuel imports to power diesel and HFO generators, including at LEC’s Bushrod Island substation.
The Project also generates other benefits in addition to electricity supply. The reservoir enables enhanced subsistence fishing for the project community. The project has included, as part of its social safeguards, the improvement of the health facility at Raymond’s Camp and the provision of other local infrastructural improvements (e.g. electricity supply in the area of the plant, improved water supply through provision of wells and hand pumps, improved sanitation in Raymond Camp, and improved access roads). The project also generated employment benefits for the local community (skilled and unskilled) and for Liberia’s citizens more broadly, with over 1,000 jobs created during construction.