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Hydro-power plant renewing brings hope for consumers in Liberia

Nowadays small business owners in Liberia can relax since power costs have drastically reduced.

Eva Kolie is a small business owners who runs a bakery in the capital Monrovia.

She had already bought electric mixers in order to meet customer demand but she says the cost of running the machines using generator was insupportable.

“Before, when we plugged in the electric mixers, it cost around 20 US dollars per day to run the generator. Today we spend about 49 US dollars in a week. It is much cheaper,” said Eva Kolie.

Currently, the Mount Coffee hydro-power plan which had been destroyed during civil conflict in early 1990's is operational.

Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf presided over the ceremony to switch back on the first turbine in December after undergoing extensive repairs over the last five years at an estimated cost of 337 million US dollars from US, European and Saudi funding.

The first turbine of the country can generate a maximum capacity of 22MegaWatt and the second 22MegaWatt turbine is due on line in the next few weeks with two more to follow by the end of the year.

“It has been a challenge because the network was not prepared for the kind of reliability that Mount Coffee would afford us, but we have since overcome that challenge,” said Ian Yhap, board chairman of Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).

Since Mount Coffee was switched back on, more than 15,000 new customers have been connected to the grid. Currently the state power corporation intends to connect 100,000 others by the end of the year.

But, the issue is not only about supplying cheap power but ensure that the population is which estimated about four million people get power 24 hours everyday.
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