Dawnus to perform main civil works rehab at Liberia’s 64-MW Mount Coffee hydroelectric project

UK-based construction firm Dawnus International Ltd. has signed a US$62 million contract to construct main civil works associated with the reconstruction of Liberia’s 64-MW Mount Coffee hydropower plant.

The deal will see Dawnus perform reconstruction and rehabilitation of the project’s main dam, powerhouse, spillway, intake and other infrastructure and road works.

The company fulfilled a $13 million project at Mount Coffee in 2014, establishing a camp and other preliminary works allowing for further development of the site.

The project, on the St. Paul River 27 kilometers northeast of Monrovia, was destroyed during a period of civil war in the early 1990s. The original powerhouse contained four turbine-generator units, two with a capacity of 15 MW that began operating in 1966 and two with a capacity of 17 MW that began operating in 1973.

The cost to make the needed repairs and upgrades to bring the facility back on line is estimated at $230 million. The government has received funding from various donors, including the European Investment Bank and European Central Bank, to help finance the work.

“We are very proud to be part of this important project,” Dawnus managing director Bob Kottler said. “Liberia’s electricity grid was almost entirely destroyed during the Civil War, and the development will bring enormous benefits to the country.”

The Liberian government originally planned for the rehabilitation to be completed by the end of this year, though work suspensions due to the country’s Ebola epidemic have stalled progress.

The World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free in May, however, pushing the project’s new completion date to the end of 2016.

The Liberia Electricity Corporation, the national electricity company of Liberia, is managing the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant Rehabilitation.

Liberia’s government is currently accepting bids to operate and maintain the plant.

Voith Hydro is modernizing the plant’s Francis turbines and delivering new generators, control technology, and electrical and mechanical power plant equipment.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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