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Brazilian Firm Eyes Liberia’s Energy Sector

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A Brazilian engineering and construction firm has expressed its interest in the Liberian energy sector, specifically with eyes on the Mount Coffee hydro plant in White Plans and the development of the St. Paul River Basin hydropower potential.

A high-level delegation, representing the company, on Thursday held discussions with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.

Thedelegation, headed by the President and Chief Executive Officer of Odebrecht International, Mr. Luis Augusto Rocha, is in the country to continue discussions with the Liberian Government authorities on the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee hydro plant in White Plans and the development of the St. Paul River Basin hydropower potential.

President Sirleaf welcomed the team, and renewed her commitment for the development of the country’s energy sector. She reiterated that the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee hydro plant is a priority for Government, and stressed that whatever arrangements are concluded for its rehabilitation must take into account the need for a cost-effective energy program that will benefit the Liberian people.

A statement issued from the Executive Mansion quoted president Sirleaf as saying, Government would examine the proposals being advanced by Oderbrecht for the rehabilitation of the hydro plant, as well as the potential for the development of the St. Paul River Basin.

The economic viability of the country, the President stressed, rests within the energy sector, adding that her Government is anxious to see concrete progress toward the restoration of the power sector.

Odebrecht’s President and CEO, Mr. Augusto Rocha, said his company was honored to be part of the President’s response to the energy sector.

His company’s decision to get involved in Liberia’s energy sector was a direct response to the President’s call that energy would be a priority.

“We are in the early stages of planning, but believe it is achievable with all stakeholders involved,” the President of the US$23 billion multinational construction and logistic conglomerate told the President.

Odebrecht International is collaborating with another Brazilian company, Vale, in discussing plans for the rehabilitation and development of Liberia’s power sector.

The involvement of the two companies followed a visit by the Liberian President to Brazil in April, during which she urged Brazilians companies to invest in Liberia.  Odebrecht International is also the sub-contractor for ArcelorMittal for the rehabilitation of the Yekepa-Buchanan rail line.

The company, according to industry statistics, ranks #1, worldwide, in hydro-power construction. Other members of the Odebrecht International delegation were: Mr. Gustavo Guerra, Executive Director for West Africa; Mr. Alexander Christiani, Technical Director; and Mr. Kparteh Jackson, in charge of Community Relations & Government Affairs.

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