skills
Germany’s technology group, Voith, provides skills needed by the employees of Liberia Electricity Corporation for the operation of the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant.

In West Africa, 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, report Liberia’s Daily Observer.

It is reported that the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant is scheduled to begin feeding power into the grid by early 2017 following refurbishments of the facility.

“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.

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

Mt Coffee training programme

The future Liberian plant operators are receiving their training as part of Voith's global Hydro School training programme, which has been tailored to developing countries' needs, media reported.

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

“Voith is supporting the premise that technological construction and training is being done simultaneously in order to support both Africa’s economic and social development, in addition to reducing worldwide emissions,” senior vice President, sales Africa at Voith Hydro, Heike Bergmann, said.

Bergmann added: “Cooperation with the Liberia Electricity Corporation on the Mount Coffee hydropower plant is a great example of this model.”

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.

Hydropower plant nears completion

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 1m below the maximum operating level.