Plans are being stepped up for a 20-30MW hydroelectric plant in southeast Liberia, following the signing of a collaboration agreement for project planning and development.

Multi-project gold company Hummingbird Resources signed the agreement with IFC InfraVentures and Aldwych International which could see the project developed in an area around 10km from Hummingbird’s 4.2Moz Dugbe 1 Gold Project.

If developed, the hydroelectric plant would significantly contribute to the domestic power supply in southeast Liberia and provide considerable potential to reduce operating costs of Dugbe 1 through the delivery of low-cost power.

A pre-feasibility study on the project is to be carried out by Knight PiƩsold Consulting (Vancouver), with work to be conducted in two phases. Phase 1 will involve the preliminary engineering, draft PFS report and installation of stream gauge and flow monitoring equipment, while Phase 2 will include one year of flow rate recording, stream gauge maintenance, hydrological analysis and the final PFS report.

Funded by IFC Infraventures, the study is expected to be completed by April 2016.

"This collaboration represents an extremely exciting opportunity for Hummingbird, working together with two highly regarded partners, IFC InfraVentures and Aldwych International, to develop a sustainable source of power for Dugbe 1 and to secure the future domestic power supply for the southeast Liberian region and in particular the town of Greenville," said Dan Betts, CEO of Hummingbird Resources. "With the HEP PFS fully funded by IFC InfraVentures, we believe, if successful, this hydroelectric scheme will create a catalyst for growth of the region and provide a significant potential opex-saving opportunity for Dugbe 1."