By Garmonyou Wilson
The Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), Patrick Sendolo, says that the Via Reservoir in Lofa County has the potential to increase the energy producing power of the Mount Coffee hydro-plant as well as ensuring year-round stabilized electricity.
Speaking yesterday after a one day tour of the Via Reservoir in Lofa County, the Lands, Mines and Energy Minister said the Liberian government along with some of its partners was looking into developing the reservoir to serve as a back up to the Mount Coffee Hydro plant so that more Liberians can receive affordable electricity.
Minister Sendolo said that the Via Reservoir which is on the St. Paul River would ensure that the Mount Coffee hydro-plant gives some 80 megawatts of electricity year round and that several other dams can be built on the St. John in years to come to make sure Liberia produces its own energy.
He stated further that the project is just beginning and nothing much can be explained about the project until a feasibility study is conducted. He added that the Norwegian government has already agreed to conduct the study.
Come 2015 when the hydro becomes fully operational, it will produce some 80 megawatts and that number will decrease during the dry season when water levels decrease. However with the addition of the reservoir the power production would be 80 megawatts year round.
As part of the Via Reservoir delegation the Norwegian Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Fred Richard Rasmussen said that the embassy has been given the green light to discuss the reservoir and potential it has to give renewable and affordable electricity to Liberia.
Ambassador Rasmussen said that Liberia being the largest recipient for funding through the Norwegian government, the potential that the reservoir holds to bring increased energy to Liberia is a plus.
The German Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Ralph Timmermann after the tour said that the Via Reservoir has a lot going for it to help the Liberian people in their need for affordable energy.
He said as one of Liberia’s main partner’s in the energy sector when the feasibility studies are completed the German government would then commit to the development of the reservoir.
The Ambassador, representing the European Union (EU), Attilio Pacifici said that surely the Via Reservoir project is among the big projects Liberians need to focus on.
Ambassador Pacifici said that the government needs to develop a vision that includes creating affordable electricity, protecting the environment and creating a tourist location.
The French Ambassador accredited to Liberia, Joel Godeau said that although the French government won’t be directly involved in the project as one of the main partners within the European Investment Bank, the government of France takes interest in seeing the fruition of the project.