Odzani-Mini Hydroelectric

In West Africa, residents of Monrovia in Liberia will welcome the New Year with clean power as the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant is scheduled to come online this week.

This will mark the first time the plant has been ‘switched’ on in 26 years.

Last month, it was reported that the restoration works, which began in 2014, was standing at over 70% to completion and should be operational by December this year.

The team on the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Rehabilitation Project was reported to have successfully completed the first phase of the reservoir impoundment.

The water level reached 28 metres above sea level, which is just one metre below the maximum operating level.

Mt. Coffee prepares for operation

In preparation for the date of commission, 20 employees of power utility Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) have recently been undergoing skills training that will enable the smooth operation of the hydropower plant, Liberia’s Daily Observer reported last month.

Germany’s technology group, Voith, will provide the necessary skills training needed by the employees.

According to media, the trainees are receiving their training as part of Voith’s global Hydro School training programme, which has been tailored to meet the needs of developing countries.

The comprehensive training will prepare employees, from technicians through to managers, to fulfil their individual responsibilities.

According to the media, by mid-October, half of the plant’s staff were undergoing a two-week training programme at Voith’s headquarters in Heidenheim, southern Germany.

The training programme include training relating to turbines, generators and other electromechanical components. The programme is reported will also cover automation, control and maintenance topics.

The Mt. Coffee hydropower plant was built in the 1960s; however, during the Liberian civil war it was destroyed.

“The renewal work on the hydropower plant will contribute to economic transformation and bring about sustainable progress to the people of this west African country,” the company said in a statement.