The Liberia Renewable Energy Access Project has announced plans for a new mini hydropower plant in the Kolahun distract on the Kaiha River.
The project, which is part of the ongoing economic recovery from the recent Ebola epidemic, will utilise experience gained from a previous project in February 2014 which saw the World Bank provide Liberia’s Rural and Renewable Energy Agency (RREA) with financing for a 60kw mini-hydro plant in nearby Yandohun.
The total cost of the new plant is estimated by the World Bank to be $27million, with $25 million being supplied by the Strategic Climate Fund’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program, and a further $2m from the International Development Association. Construction of the hydropower plant is slated to begin in January 2017.
According to the World Bank’s Project Appraisal, at less than 2% Liberia has one of the world’s lowest rates of electrification. The new plant aims chip away at that woeful statistic by providing sustainable and reliable electricity to some 50,000 residents and small businesses in the Lofa County area, including the towns of Voinjama, Foya, Kohalun and Massambolahun/Bolahun.
When complete, the project also hopes to supply 100,000 extra people with access to stand-alone solar systems and lanterns.