USTDA SUPPORTS DEVELOPMENT OF THE POWER SECTOR IN LIBERIA DURING PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF'S VISIT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 15, 2007) – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency made its first commitment to the ongoing development of Liberia that is being led by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. USTDA invested $400,000 in a grant to the Liberian Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy to assist in developing the nation’s power sector. Specifically, the grant will fund the technical and economic feasibility of the reconstruction and expansion of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Station, which was destroyed during the recent period of civil unrest. Redevelopment of power generation infrastructure in Liberia is of paramount importance to the government.
“The grant agreement we are signing today reflects our commitment to work with the government and people of Liberia as partners,” said USTDA Director Thelma J. Askey. “It is important for many reasons, but perhaps fundamentally because it will help to supply the power necessary for economic growth and job creation. We look forward to a continuous dialogue on additional areas for possible cooperation to bring to fruition Liberia’s aspirations to improve standards of living for all of its citizens.”
A signing ceremony to confer the grant was held at the Grand Hyatt Washington, during the Liberia Private Sector Investment Forum. USTDA Director Askey and His Excellency Dr. Eugene Shannon, Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Liberian governments, respectively. The President of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was present at the signing ceremony.
Liberia is recovering from a prolonged period of war and civil unrest, during which much of the nation’s infrastructure was destroyed. Current power generating capacity is extremely limited and only a few locations in the capital, Monrovia, have access to electricity.A key priority for the government is the reconstruction and expansion of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Station as it would provide the nation with a reliable source of clean, low cost electricity. The USTDA-funded assistance will examine the potential for a 100-megawatt power generation facility that would support all of the electricity demands in greater Monrovia, and fill a critical gap in planning for the development of the electricity sector in Liberia.
The opportunity to conduct the study under the USTDA grant will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. The Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the training.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.