U.S. funds study for rehab, expansion of Liberia’s 64-MW Mount Coffee

The United States has agreed to invest US$400,000 in a study of the reconstruction and expansion of Liberia’s 64-MW Mount Coffee hydroelectric project.

Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf attended a February 15 signing ceremony in Washington in which the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA) agreed to provide the grant to Liberia. The money is to fund a technical and economic feasibility study of refurbishing and expanding Mount Coffee, which was destroyed during a period of war and civil unrest.

The TDA-funded assistance is to examine the potential of expanding Mount Coffee to 100 MW to support all electricity demands of Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, and fill a critical gap in electricity sector planning.

Current power generating capacity in Liberia is limited. Liberia Electricity Corp. manages a temporary scheme to provide some power, including diesel units and a few small run-of-river hydro projects. The World Bank’s International Finance Corp. announced earlier in February that it would advise Liberia on securing private sector investment to provide electricity in the short to medium term.

TDA said Mount Coffee study proposals are to be solicited on the U.S. government’s Federal Business Opportunities Internet site, www.fbo.gov. From those responses, Liberia’s Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy is to select a U.S. consultant to perform the study.

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