By Garmonyou Wilson
A seven-man European Union (EU) delegation has arrived in the country to inspect the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant Project in White Plains, Montserrado County.
The Head of the delegation, Klaus Rudischhauser, said that some 100 million Euros could be pumped into Liberia over a seven-year period, with most of the funding going into bringing energy throughout the country.
While in Liberia the EU delegation Head said he seeks to understand the priorities, needs and gaps of the ongoing rehabilitation works at the Hydropower Plant, so that the Union can help build on what has already been done.
He said that the Union’s interest is part of the Universal Energy for All by 2030 that developing and developed nations want to take part in.
Mr. Rudischhauser said the EU is willing to work with all stakeholders that are currently using their efforts to roll out energy to the population.
He stressed the need for a long term program to cut the cost of energy to Liberians and by joining forces with relevant stakeholders in the country would get better results.
Mr. Rudischhauser reiterated that the EU along with the United Nations is determined to ensure Universal Access to Energy.
The Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), Patrick Sendolo welcomed the delegation and assured them that the ties that exist between the two countries will go a long way.
In January 2013 the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) completed pre-qualification of generating equipment suppliers, and completed the tendering process in late August 2013. The contract that was signed on October 18 and October 23, 2013, in Monrovia and Heidenheim, Germany, was awarded to Voith Hydro GmbH & Co. KG, a German company.
In order to maintain the targeted project schedule, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Voith Hydro on August 23, 2013, which enabled Voith to begin the engineering of the turbines while contract negotiations were being carried out.
With the signing of this contract and Voith’s commencement of the work, LEC has effectively secured the major goal of the project, which is to achieve first power to Monrovia by December 15, 2015. The contract’s schedule has the first turbine providing commercial power by this date, with the remaining turbines coming on line at two-month intervals during 2016.