Mount Coffee - Rehabilitation of a run-of-river power plant in Liberia

In June 2014, ANDRITZ HYDRO was awarded by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) with a contract for the design, rehabilitation, supply and installation of hydraulic steelworks and auxiliary systems for the Mount Coffee hydropower plant in Liberia.

The hydropower plant today

The hydropower plant is located on the Saint Paul River, 30 km northeast of Liberia’s capital Monrovia and had been built between 1963 and 1966. It was the second and the largest hydropower plant ever built in Liberia. After its inauguration HPP Mount Coffee had an installed capacity of 30 MW, which was more than doubled to 64 MW in the 1970s. There remains the opportunity to extend the plant further with the installation of two additional turbines.

In 1990, the intake dam was breached at one end and a part of the dam wall was damaged. In subsequent years the internal plant was completely destroyed. Following the loss of this facility, electrical output plummeted and many people turned to other sources of energy such as charcoal, which underlines the necessity that this project provides renewable energy as soon as possible.

Mount Coffee Dam in its original condition

© www.mtcoffeeliberia.com

In order to maintain the target to generate the first electricity in December 2015, LEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ANDRITZ HYDRO in May 2014, which enabled ANDRITZ HYDRO to promptly begin some of the early engineering works. The MOU allowed LEC and ANDRITZ HYDRO to ensure that the details of the final contract were carefully scrutinized without affecting the project schedule. LEC officially announced they were very pleased with the commitment demonstrated by ANDRITZ HYDRO throughout this process.

An important reason for awarding ANDRITZ HYDRO the contract was its highly qualified personnel and its impressive technical experience. Furthermore, ANDRITZ HYDRO’s offer was the most attractive for the customer.

Arieal view of the hydropower plant at its first commissioning

© www.mtcoffeeliberia.com

Due to the state of emergency declared by the President of Liberia as a result of the Ebola Virus outbreak, the progress of installation works is presently suspended for a period of some months.

ANDRITZ HYDRO’s scope of supply comprises the rehabilitation of 10 radial gates at the spillway, the supply of new intake gates, trash racks, stop-logs for the spillway, intake and draft tube, four penstocks, and electric and hydraulic auxiliary systems.

TECHNICAL DATA

10 radial gates:11.5 m x 11 m
4 intake gates:5.5 m x 5.8 m                                          
Total weight of supply:900 tons

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