Voith has received an order for the modernization of the Mount Coffee hydropower plant at the St. Paul River in Liberia, West Africa: The company will modernize Francis turbines of the power plant and deliver new generators, the control technology as well as the electrical and mechanical power plant equipment.
The project will be financed by the Liberian and the Norwegian governments, the European Investment Bank, and the German KfW Bank. The modernized units will generate a much higher output than the previous machines. The power output per unit will be raised by about one third. The order has a volume of EUR 43 million.
The run-of-river hydropower plant Mount Coffee has been built in the 1960s as the second and largest hydroelectric plant in Liberia. During the civil war, the plant and the dam, which is situated close to the capital Monrovia, was damaged; looting following the end of war destroyed the electrical and mechanical components. Only parts of the dam and the steel pen-stock remained intact. Monrovia has remained dependent on costly and limited diesel generation since 2006. The modernization of the power plant is therefore contributing to economic progress in Liberia.
"After the setbacks Liberia had to endure we are pleased to be able to make a substantial contribution to the economic development of the country“ says Dr. Roland Münch, CEO and President of Voith Hydro. Upon completion of the order, Monrovia s more than one million inhabitants will be supplied with reliable and clean electricity from renewable energies.
Voith can look back on a long-standing presence and many years of experience on the African continent. Africa has considerable hydropower reserves, which are estimated to total approximately 400 gigawatts. At pre-sent, only about 25 gigawatts are effectively utilized.
Just recently, Voith received an order for equipping the Angolan hydro-power plant Cambambe II. The company has also just started with the modernization of Inga I hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo.