Vice President Boakai Holds Discussions with Officials of Sinohydro

Thursday, 9th July 2009
Beijing, China - The Vice President of Liberia Joseph N. Boakai has restated government’s commitment to restoring the Mt Cuffee Hydro Dam and constructing a reservoir on the St. Paul River to ensure that residents of Monrovia and other parts of the country have affordable electricity and pipe-borne water.

Speaking Wednesday in Beijing during a meeting with officials of the Sinohydro Corporation and officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Vice President Boakai said: ”For Liberia, this is very important project because without electricity and pipe-borne water supply, it will be difficult to track investments in post-war Liberia”.

“We are quite aware of Sinohydro’s capabilities in this area, and if we had the wherewithal, we would have asked you to start immediately, “ Vice President Boakai emphasized.

 He however reminded that the project envisaged is not just building the dam, but also a reservoir on the St. Paul River, which, he noted, is even more a critical need.

Vice President Boakai added that the project was critical to the Bong Mines iron ore company which will reopen in the not too distant future, adding, “In fact before the war, Bong Mines and the Mount Cuffee Hydro shared power”.

The Liberian Vice President said the critical part of the arrangement is the financing arrangement, saying the government would prefer the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) process. “We want to let you know that our commitment is very strong. We would like to see this project started  as soon as possible to be able to attract more investment possibilities,” the Liberian Vice President added.

He said the government would be ready to discuss all of what it takes to have the project started, further emphasizing, “This is one project that is very, very critical to our development agenda”.

Beiefing Vice President Boakai earlier, the President of Sinohydro Corporation, Mr. Fan Jixiang assured that from preliminary study conducted, Sinohydro had the technical know-how to undertake the project.

He said his company was willing and technically competent to undertake both the Mount Cuffee Hydro Dam project and construction of a reservoir on the St. Paul River on BOT basis , but that it will have to obtain the approval of the Chinese government before embarking on the project.

Mr. Jixiang said before entering into the agreement, the company will also have to conduct research on the number of people who will benefit from the projects.
The Sinohydro President said his company has undertaken projects in 40 countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Present at the meeting were Second Lady Madam Kartumu Y. Boakai, Liberia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Her Excellency Neh Dukuly Tolbert, the Minister of Planning, Honorable Amara Konneh, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Honorable Jeremiah Sulunteh, Assistant Foreign Minister for Afro-Asian Affairs George Wisner and Chief of Staff Samuel Stevquoah.

Also present at the meeting were the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Liberia, His Excellency Zhou Yuxiao, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of African Affairs  at the Chinese Foreign Minister, Honorable. Zhao Jian gping, Honorable Zhao Yong of the Chinese Division Director of the Department of African Affairs, and the Deputy Divison Director of the Department of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr. Wei Ning.