30 October 2013, Monrovia – The quest for power generation in Liberia remains a high priority for everyone, especially the government. For years, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration has been seeking ways to resolve this power problem.
Sources at the Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy, told The New Dawn that modalities have almost been completed for Jindal Steel and Power to start operation of a Thermal power plant.
The plant is expected to be built in Bomi, Western Liberia, and will tackle some of the energy problems in the country. It can be recalled that early this year, Jindal Steel and Power Company expressed its desire to construct a thermal power plant in Western Liberia.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Liberian government to set up a power plant. According to the MOU, it plans to build a 2×175 megawatt thermal power plant; which will be the first in a series of projects lined up in Africa by Jindal. The head of Jindal, Mr. Naveen Jindal told president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently during a state visit to India that he had a dream to light up Africa.
The power plant is expected to have an investment of US$250 million work is expected to start early next year. But sources at the Mines ministry said there are few technical details they are working on at the moment for Jindal to start operation.
“We think that is a worthy project. This project we believe will help the country immensely to help reduce energy weight on this government. We are excited to see that project start as a government. Once we are done with all the technical details, they will start,” the source who declined to be named said.
It can be recalled that during the president’s visit to India this year, she expressed optimism over the company’s performance in India and other parts of the world.
“I am impressed by what they (Jindals) have achieved. The manner in which they have built plants in difficult circumstances and worked with villagers give us confidence to explore more possibilities,” president Sirleaf was quoted by foreign media recently.
According to the MOU, JSPL hopes to use coal from its captive mines in the neighboring countries of Mozambique and Botswana to fire the Liberian plant. It may also consider importing from the US or Colombia.
Liberia is one of the least developed countries in the world, produces 60MW against the projected demand of 100MW. But industrial sources said, the demand could be as high as 300MW as global miners and local industries in Liberia depend on diesel generators to run operations.
Besides Liberia, the other Africa nations where JSPL plans to build power plants are Botswana, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Senegal.
– The New Dawn