The Liberia Electricity Corporation or LEC, on May 6, 2015, signed an agreement with ELTEL Network – 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 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 business community 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 poles, and dismantling of the old existing lattice steel towers or wooden poles and foundations.
Work on the contract is expected to begin in June 2015, with the commencement of engineering, design and manufacturing, and construction later this year approximately for 18 months. The contract was awarded, following a competitive bidding process won by ELTEL- a company that is no stranger to the provision of transmission and distribution construction services to Liberia, through the LEC.
Prior to the competitive bidding processes, ELTEL had undertaken several works for the LEC for the past six years, including the installation of the 66 kV network in Monrovia and many of the 22 kV distribution lines.
The company partnered with local companies to install the electricity networks and contributed to the capacity-building goals of the LEC and the country.
The Mt. Coffee project has made considerable progress since the end of the Ebola crisis, with the procurement for the project now substantially complete and the target date for the first commercial power from the plant 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 Governments of Norway, Germany, as well as the European Investment Bank and the Government of Liberia. Edited by George Barpeen