The Mount Coffee
hydroelectric project
in Liberia “’ abandoned,
but now being
renovated at a cost of
up to US$380 million
Monrovia, Liberia — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 26 January 2012 – Liberian acting assistant minister for lands, mines and energy Beauford Weeks has disclosed that rehabilitation work on the US$300 million Mount Coffee hydro dam in the country is expected to take at least three years, if all goes well.

Speaking to “The New Dawn” newspaper here during a consultative workshop on electrical power systems development in Liberia, Weeks said power generation was expensive for low income Liberians, so most parts of the capital were in complete darkness. He added that the government is working out every modality in making sure Monrovia and its environs are supplied with electricity.

The workshop was exploring ways of providing affordable power through a transmission line that would connect Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Former lands, mines and energy minister Roosevelt Jayjay, who also spoke at the workshop, said the restoration of an electric power grid to Monrovia and electricity supply to other provincial cities across the country were among the government’s top national priorities.

“We’re happy that, with concerted efforts from all concerned agencies and funding from the international development and donor community, the installed capacity in Liberia has been increased,” he said.    

Jayjay went on to say that, while the progress made was commendable, the key associated constraint was that it was centered on thermal generation from costly high-speed diesel fuel, which induced the necessity of a tariff that was high, unbearable to the poor, and virtually out of reach of the income of the average Liberian household.

Jayjay pointed out that the present cost of electricity in Liberia was indeed very high, now put at US$54 cents per kilowatt hour, and was steadily rising.