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Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant Will Begin Operation Before Christmas

14 Dec 10:00 by Steve Walia

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Liberian nationals in West Africa will be able to enjoy the new year with clean and renewable power, thanks to a new development that is going online this week on Mount Coffee.

The hydropower installation has been undergoing substantial restoration works since 2014, and it is already 70pc completed. The plant was originally built 26 years ago to harness renewable energy from the tremendous reserves of rainwater that fall down the mountain.

The project team have already finished work on the reservoir, with the water now standing at 28m above sea level. The maximum level of operation will be 29 metres, and the engineers behind the project are pleased with the progress and results to date.

To prepare for commissioning, staff from the Liberia Electricity Company are being trained in how to operate the new plant smoothly and effectively. The training is being delivered by Voith, the German technology firm.

The 20 trainees are attending the Global Hydro School programme, delivered by Voith, which has been created specifically to meet the learning needs of developing countries. It is comprehensive in scope and will prepare staff from technicians through to line management level on how to run the hydropower project.

Topics include the operation and maintenance of generators, turbines and electro-mechanical parts, as well as parts control, automation and broader servicing and care.

The original Mount Coffee hydropower plant is 26 years old and was constructed in the 1960s, only to be destroyed in Liberia's civil war. The hope now is that the project helps to progress the country's sustainability and economic agenda, providing reliable energy that will facilitate education and commerce, new employment opportunities, energy security of supply and the skills base needed to roll out similar projects across this part of West Africa.