Former U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas-Greenfield
‘Turning On First Turbine One Step Closer,’ Says U.S. Diplomat
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, December 15 (LINA) – Former U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant as a step closer to the plan of providing reliable and affordable electricity to Liberians.
“We are one step closer to providing electricity in your homes and we are one step closer to providing the opportunity that the country’s next generation deserve,” she noted.
The former U.S. Ambassador made the observation in her remarks at program marking the turning on of the first turbine of the rehabilitated Hydro Power Plant in Harrisburg, outside Monrovia.
The turbine will produce 22 megawatts of electricity, while the remaining three turbines containing 66 megawatts are expected to be turned on in early 2017.
According to the former U.S envoy, the hydro project is part of outgoing President Barrack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, which aims to provide 50 million homes on the African continent with 30,000 megawatts of sustainable, cleaner energy across sub-Saharan Africa.
“Today’s milestone is important for many reasons, currently the cost of electricity in Liberia is among the highest in the world and only two percent of its population has access to electricity,” she said, adding, “Through the restoration of this plant we are on the path of changing this situation.”
Former Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield expressed appreciation to multilateral partners who provided resources for the project and the Government of Liberia for expanding access to viable electricity to its people.
She praised the commitment of the Liberian Government to ensuring that the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Project is implemented and completed and expressed optimism that with the turning on of the hydro, businesses and citizens will achieve their optimum.
Madam Thomas-Greenfield served as US Ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012, during which she visited the now refurbished hydro and saw the level of damage done to it which, she said, disappointed her and pained her heart.
She recalled seeing children study under the few available streets lights during the period of the small light along the US Embassy and other available facilities.