HydroChina applies for permit to construct 120-MW St. Paul hydropower plant in Liberia

Aloysius K. Kotee, of the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency, announced last week Beijing-based HydroChina Corp. has applied for a permit to construct and operate the 120-MW St. Paul hydroelectric project on the St. John River in Bong and Grand Bassa counties of Liberia, according to published reports.

A delegation that included several China-based business leaders recently visited Liberia, according to the government. Reports indicate P. Nanlee Johnson, energy analyst at Liberia’s Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, said the Liberian government invited HydroChina to work with Liberia Electricity Corp. to develop hydropower within Liberia.

The government said it has conducted an environmental impact assessment for the proposed scheme, but the cost of the project and specific details of the facility or its planned completion date have not been released.

According to local news outlets, Kotee said the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was done on behalf of HydroChina by Natural Resources Development Corp., one of 11 groups the Liberian EPA said it trained to conduct environmental assessments.

According to Liberia’s national energy policy, the county seeks to electrify 35% of its territory by 2030, which includes development of hydropower plants.

Currently, Liberia’s largest capacity hydropower plant is the 88-MW Mt. Coffee facility also located on the Saint Paul River.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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