Mt.Coffee Hydro Dam Rehabilitation Work Halted

first_imgRehabilitation work at the Mount Coffee Hydro Dam, located in Harrisburg, Upper Montserrado County, has come to an immediate halt, and all expatriate staffs have reportedly packed bags and baggage and left the country.The LEC expatriate staff have left the country owing to fear of contracting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which has taken the lives of over 500 Liberians, including health workers.Rehabilitation work at the Mt. Coffee Hydro-electric Power Plant commenced in May 2013 with the establishment of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), while actual construction started On January 2014.According to the project blue print, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) aims to fully complete the project by the end of 2016 and the target date for first commercial power from the plant remains December 2015. But with the seeming abandonment of work at the dam by international firms contracted to carry out various portions of the project, for fear of contracting the EVD, there are apprehensions that all efforts aimed at rehabilitating that vital national power grid seem farfetched.In December 2006, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf disclosed that her government was considering other alternatives of power supply. She indicated then that refurbishing the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant would cause government more than US$200 million.Following the provision of light in and around Monrovia under the theme ‘Small Light Today, Big Light Tomorrow’, Liberia still remains a country without the needed electricity necessary for the powering of mini and full scale factories, homes and offices.Currently, the running of Liberia’s only electric power generation company (LEC) now rests with a Canadian company called Monitaba Hydro International (MHI) and the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC).Owing to the agreement underpinning the Memorandum of Understanding concluded between the MHI and the LEC, the LEC is currently headed by a Canadian named Gregory J. Sylvester of the MHI, as Chief Executive Officer.But Greg, as he is commonly called, has also departed Liberia since about a month ago and left the running of the company in the hands of his Liberian counterparts.The Project Implementation Unit (PIU), which is the prime driver of the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Dam, is also headed by one Randal Enns, another foreign national, who has reportedly left Liberia for fear of contracting the Ebola Disease.When contacted, Hassan Kiawu, communication consultant at the LEC, confirmed that almost all of the expatriate staffs working at the Hydro Dam have departed Liberia and gone to seek safe havens outside Liberia.Asked when the contractors, mainly foreigners, will return, Kiawu said he could not speak to that as the PIU was a project outside the ambit of his job description. He referred our reporter to Benedict Sarnor, Acting Chairman of the LEC Board of Directors and Patrick Sendolo, Minister of Lands Mines and Energy.However, according to the PIU website, the Mt. Coffee rehabilitation project is co-financed by the Government of Norway, Government of Germany (KWF), European International Bank and the Liberian Government, respectively.Interestingly, local contractors who have been hired to do bits and pieces in the Mt. Coffee Hydro Dam location have also complained that they have not been paid by the PIU. However, the LEC, through the PIU, has so far signed contracts with a number of international firms to help rehabilitate and reconstruct the Hydro Dam.According to the PIU website, to date four of the seven main project contracts have been awarded.On April 30, 2013, LEC signed Consulting Services Agreement with Norplan/Fichtner for Mt. Coffee Owner’s Engineer Services. The Owner’s Engineer is responsible for project design planning and procurement. On October 25, 2013, LEC signed a contract with Voith Hydro for Mt. Coffee Generating Equipment and on January 9, 2014 LEC signed another contract with Dawnus International Ltd. for Mount Coffee Enabling works.The latest contract signed with Andritz Hydro GMbH for Hydraulic Steelwork and Auxiliary Systems now puts the total sum of money so far bankrolled for the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Dam in the Millions.The LEC communication boss could not give the exact amount so far utilized on the project. But it is believed that all of these projects, plus three more to be awarded, will effectively lead to full rehabilitation the dam.Recently, the World Health Organization spokesperson, Glenn Thomas, told the BBC in an interview that funds intended to be used to carry out development in the Ebola affected countries will be redirected to help fight the Ebola Virus in those countries.Just few weeks following the outbreak of the Ebola scourge in the Minor River Basin, the World Bank donated US$5 billion for the African electric power project. According to the World Bank, the money will be given to six African countries to be utilized in electric power project generation. The bank’s donation is mainly for countries incorporated under Barak Obama Power Africa Initiative. The benefitting countries include Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia.Dr. Jim Young Kim, World Bank President, announced the bank’s intervention at the African leaders’ summit held in America and said the donation will help address Africa’s electric power challenges.Development experts here believed that the money is coming at a time when the Mt. Coffee Hydro Dam is being placed on ice. It is also not clear whether Liberia’s share of that amount will be redirected towards the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus.The Liberia rural electrification project, initiated in collaboration with the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP), has also been seriously affected as most communities in the rural parts are being quarantined.Moreover, Ghanaian and Ivoirian electrical engineers working on the rural electrification project in the North Eastern part of Liberia have also reportedly left the country so as to avoid contracting the Ebola disease.Construction of the Mt. Coffee hydropower plant was first undertaken in 1964. The first phase, with an installed capacity of 34 MW from two turbines, was commissioned and put in production in 1967. The project was undertaken by the government of Liberia (GOL), with financing from the United States government.The installation of two additional turbines in 1973 increased the installed capacity to 64 MW. This second phase was financed by the World Bank.From 1973 until late 1989, Liberia’s electricity service was largely limited to the capital of Monrovia and environs; with around 35,000 customers—almost 13 percent of the population—served by 1989. LEC also handled the electricity supply of rural areas outside Monrovia through 10 small isolated power systems with a total installed capacity of 13 MW.During the period of civil unrest in Liberia, power generation at Mount Coffee had to be stopped and operation of the spillway gates was prevented by the hostilities. Rebel forces under the command of Charles Taylor seized the Mt. Coffee plant in July 1990, halting production and causing the dam to breach. Efforts have been underway since 2006 to restore the Monrovia grid and expand mini-grid and stand-alone power systems in the interior. Following the restoration of peace, rehabilitation of Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant has been proposed as an important part of the reconstruction efforts led by H.E. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Now with the intrusion of the Ebola Virus and the resulting immediate halting of the Mt. Coffee Hydro Dam reconstruction and rehabilitation, it could be long coming before light reaches many homes, offices and factories across Liberia.When completed, the dam, which had a capacity 64 mw is expected to have 80 mw. With all of these developments, analysts here think the PIU target date for supplying the first commercial current in December 2015 may not be on schedule.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Here is your horoscope for July 21, 2018

first_imgARIESCoordinate and delegate responsibility rather than try to handle everything yourself. You are lucky with finances, material and legal aspects so resolve them now. It’s best not to postpone important decisions so you are released from tensions and restrictions. Lucky number 4. Colour green. TAURUSYou establish authority at work and realize an important goal. You support people and causes with loyalty and zeal. You need to follow regular routines to remain healthy and centered. An established relationship flowers as you find freedom and balance therein. Lucky number 3. Colour orange. GEMINIYou reciprocate feelings and aspirations by reflecting yourself in the other. Express ideas and professional plans as you are received well by people who matter. You come out of difficult situations or an accident unscathed as though protected by divine powers. Lucky number 1. Colour pink. CANCERYou attract a lot of interesting people with your charisma and gift of communication. You are generous to friends, loved ones and family but impatient of opposition. Love and romance enhance and rejuvenate a relationship. Give yourself a short break to relax. Lucky number 14. Colour red. LEOYou are at your creative best and have the opportunity to be original and the courage to be different in personal and professional aspects. You may travel or be involved in an international project that brings out your potential. Visitors and news may surprise you. Lucky number 9. Colour red. VIRGOIt’s a busy and enthusiastic day as opportunities are available for you to express your creativity and potential on all levels. Divide and rule or delegate responsibility as you have too much on your hands and may find it hard to cope. A trip is on the cards. Lucky number 3. Colour pink.advertisement LIBRAYou are blessed with clarity of vision as you move into new opportunities. You can expect positive communications and visitors from overseas. Family looks to you for guidance that you willingly provide. You can be dreamy and romantic in relationships. Lucky number 17. Colour gray. SCORPIOYou feel unburdened and happy today. You opt for freedom in relationships and express your individuality at work. You are creative and original infusing new ideas in whatever you do. Beware of crazy reactions from unexpected people. You may not conform to norms. Lucky number 6. Colour green. SAGITTARIUSYou express creative ideas through media. This is a time of endings and new beginnings in relationships or friendships as values, priorities and attitudes change. Health and energy need to be conserved as you have too much going on at work and at home. Lucky number 19. Colour yellow. CAPRICORNYour mass of fine ideals may be unrelated to practical situations and efforts. In fact, you slay as fast as you create, be aware! Good energy facilitates you to indulge in sport. You have an impact on groups rather than individuals. Express feelings. Lucky number 9. Colour blue. AQUARIUSYou are at your dynamic best to start ventures and deal with people. You win in a competitive situation to prove excellence in your field of activity. A move or renovation proves to be a good idea. Surprise your beloved with a gift to make up a quarrel. Lucky number 7. Colour blue. PISCESYou make important decisions with wisdom and guidance from within. You are a perfectionist and don’t like other people messing around with your systems. You can be creative with your hands. Your vision is strong to survive with or without the approval of others. Lucky number 9. Colour red.last_img read more

Water contact closure issued for Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge after rainfall

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Imperial Beach, Weather FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom Posted: February 27, 2018 Water contact closure issued for Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge after rainfall February 27, 2018 South County beaches closedSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — County environmental health officials closed ocean areas near the U.S.-Mexico border to swimming Tuesday and warned people to avoid contact with the water in other areas due to the recent rain.The Department of Environmental Health issued a water contact closure for the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park due to sewage flows from the Tijuana River. The area from the border to the end of Seacoast Drive in Imperial Beach is affected.The access road to Friendship Park may also be contaminated by the sewage, according to the county.Signs warning against swimming will remain in place until testing indicates the water is safe for recreation.Elsewhere in the county, swimmers and surfers should avoid entering the water for 72 hours after rainfall due to urban runoff that can contain large amounts of bacteria, officials said.A storm system moving through Southern California may mean more rainfall for the San Diego region on Tuesday. The storm is set to move east Tuesday night, but another storm will move through the region Friday and Saturday and bring with it more precipitation, according to the National Weather Service. KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more