Thursday, 15th December 2016
President Sirleaf at the historic dedicatory program of the Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant.
Photo Credit: EXECUTIVE MANSION
Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially commissioned the newly rehabilitated Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant in Harrisburg, Montserrado County and challenged successive governments to build upon development programs initiated by the preceding administration.
She said as a clear demonstration of the belief in continuity, her administration has completed other infrastructures development projects started by former Presidents William V. S. Tubman, William R. Tolbert and Samuel K. Doe.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf was speaking on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at a grand dedicatory program marking dedication of the operation of the first unit Mount Coffee Hydropower rehabilitation project when she switched on the Big Light Today.
The Liberian leader recounted that the hydro was first constructed by former President William V.S. Tubman and is being rehabilitated by her administration following its destruction during the Liberian civil war. She also made reference to the Sinje Technical and Vocational College of the University of Liberia in Grand Cape Mount County started by late President Samuel K. Doe, which is currently rehabilitated and fully operational.
She expressed the hope that her successors will emulate the examples set by her administration by completing other unfinished projects as prioritized in her development agenda. She said the first phase of the electrification project will benefit 18 communities in Monrovia and its environs. The Liberian leader lauded the country’s local and international partners for the implementation of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Project.
The massive rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant was initiated by the Liberian government through partnership with friendly governments and institutions including the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States of America, the European Investment Bank, Germen Government, Norwegian and German governments.
The initiative will produce the supply of sustainable electricity to an initial 40,000 households in Montserrado County and rural areas. The first Turbines already tested before being switched on has the capacity of 22 megawatts. The Mount Coffee Hydro was constructed 1966 by the administration of former President William V. S. but was destroyed during the civil conflict in Liberia.
For his part, the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, Borge Brende, said President Sirleaf administration has taken Liberia from darkness to light. He emphasized that her administration has taken Liberia from a war torn country to a stable democracy saying that the projects undertaken by the government including the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant are important to national growth and development and also an indication of Liberia’s graduation from a war- torn country to a nation of development and progress.
He pledged his country’s continued support to Liberia’s development agenda. He furthered that Mt. Coffee Power is a symbol of momentum for Liberia’s industrialization and will lead to sustainable growth and development.
Also making remarks, United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Madam Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the hydro is step closer to providing opportunities to deserving Liberian generations. She said the hydro is key to the U. S government’s desire to provide over 15 million homes in sub-Saharan Africa sustainable electricity. She said the hydro will provide access to Liberian kids in advancing their learning abilities and lauded the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for its role in the rehabilitation of Mount Coffee.
In separate remarks, the Board Chair of LEC, Ian Yhap and Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sendolo - commended President Sirleaf for her exemplary leadership. They noted that the commissioning of the Hydropower plant is the finest hour of the Liberian government, which according them - will provide a brighter economic prospect for Liberia adding: “Liberia is getting to its pre-conflict status by the lighting up of the hydropower plant.” They challenged Liberians to do away with candle lights and utilize the Hydropower facility.
Speaking on behalf of the community hosting the Mt. Coffee Hydropower plant, Madam Otteree Bass-Diggs thanked President Sirleaf for once again delivering on promise made towards – ‘Small Light Today, Big Light Tomorrow’. She said the citizens of Harrisburg will forever remember President Sirleaf for all she has done for Liberia, especially the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower plant.
The rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower plant is estimated at US$ 357 million and officially began in May of 2012.
However, in 2014, Liberia was hit by the deadly Ebola Virus thus delaying the completion of the project for a year from December 2015 to December 2016.
The Ceremony was graced by several dignitaries including senior government officials, Hon. Nancy Lee, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, MCC, Borge Brende, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway and Hon. Gunter Nooke,-representing German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Legislators, Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, and and a cross-section of jubilant citizens.