The first generating unit at the Mount Coffee hydropower project in Liberia will enter operation this week with the official inauguration of the plant scheduled for December 15.

Her Excellency Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, will conduct the inauguration ceremony and will be joined by representatives from contractor Multiconsult, including Helge E. Jenssen, Senior Vice President Energy, Ove Rusten, Vice President Projects – Energy and Bente T. Brunes, Elmech team leader – Home Office.

“The Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant will become Liberia’s single largest power source. The facility will deliver clean and sustainable energy and will contribute significantly towards rebuilding a country that has faced incredible pressures in recent history. We are proud contributors to the project’s remarkable success”, saide Helge E. Jenssen.

The original Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant was constructed over a four year period and began generation in 1967. The plant is located approximately 25km north of the Liberian capital, Monrovia. It operated successfully for twenty-three years until 1990 when, during the first of two civil wars, the dam was overtopped and eventually breached over a length of approximately 180m.

The powerhouse, which housed four Francis turbines with a total installed capacity of 64MW at the time, was flooded and later stripped of all its mechanical and electrical equipment. The output of the new units is substantially upgraded to 22MW each. The project adopted a fast track approach, but progress halted in 2014 due to the emergence of an unprecedented Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Norplan-Fichtner Joint Venture (NFJV) was assigned the role as the Owner’s Engineer for the project. Multiconsult ASA had formerly carried out its international work within the renewable energy sector under the brand name Norplan.