Thursday, 1 November 2007

Electricity in Liberia...Part 2

In 1968, the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant was constructed across the St Pauls River 25 miles outside Monrovia. The river was trapped by a dam and then forced through four massive turbines which generated 64kw of power, until Charles Taylor's rebel army looted essential controls from the plant which led to reduced outflow causing an overtopping of the dam and finally erosion to the embankment north of the powerhouse, where the river broke through completely and cut itself a new course until it met its old riverbed. Since then the plant has suffered 17 years of continual, large scale looting, until only the concrete shell remains. A $400,000 feasibility study is currently under way, looking at rebuilding the facility at an estimated cost of $500 million, and a construction time of 5 years. Until then, Liberia will remain in the dark. Photo of the inside of the powerhouse, and of looting in progress. Click on photo to enlarge. Olly

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