26 February 2008 - Studies which have been undertaken on the Mount Coffee hydro plant in Liberia, suggest that no structural damage has been suffered by the hydro plant, renewing hopes that the facilities may once again be operational in the not too distant future.

Rushing waterChristopher Neor, advisor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on energy, said that what was now needed was for the facilities to be brought back to pre-war conditions - this included replacement of basic equipment "such as the generating tanks and the placement of the generators among others."

The revelation is good news for Liberia, as it means the facilities should be operational sooner than anticipated. Mr Neor said there was a possibility the plant would be functional before the current administration leaves office.

However, everything hinges on funding and Mr Neor stressed that no final cost estimates had been reached but that it would be "a couple of millions of dollars."

Estimates from Mr Neor on the time to complete the refurbishment of the plant start at four years. Mr Neor also pointed out that the refurbishment of the dam did not include repairs to the reservoir, which he said would take much longer to design and would cost more than the refurbishment to the hydro plant.

The government's long term objective is to get the facility operational so as to take advantage of the hydro generating facilities. Mr Neor has suggested that a reservoir "off-strain" could store water which could be discharged during the dry season".

Picture credit: National Geographic