Bridgestone Associates and Orion Energy today finalized an agreement, under which Bridgestone Associates will assist Orion Energy to develop power projects in the Republic of Liberia. As part of the services to be provided under this agreement, Bridgestone Associates will work with Orion Energy on negotiations with the Government of Liberia; negotiations of power sales agreements with local commercial and industrial buyers, the Liberian Electricity Corporation and the Liberian Government; negotiations on rebuilding the local medium and high voltage distribution grid; and the completion of project funding, design, procurement and construction. An initial 10MW plant is expected to be operational in late 2009.
“The planned 10MW plant will provide critically needed power to Monrovia, the capital of this West African country,” said George B. Bright, executive director of Orion Energy. “During many years of civil war, all power generation and electrical grid and distribution systems were ransacked or destroyed.”
Mr. Bright continued: “Currently, there is only very limited power generation and minimal electrical distribution within the city, its suburbs, and within the whole country. One of the primary goals of the Liberian Government is to rebuild the electrical generation and distribution systems, in order to improve safety and spur economic development. The planned 10MW IPP plant will assist in achieving one of these government goals.”
The Orion Energy plant will use heavy fuel oil (HFO) to fuel large low and medium-speed reciprocating engine generators. High-speed, diesel-fueled engines will be used for back-up and load following. The timing of the Orion investment in Liberia is strategic and establishes a strong-foothold in a country that has enormous potential for renewable power development, especially hydro electricity. This low-cost hydro power generation is critical for the revitalization of the country’s large iron ore industry.