Chinese Experts Coming to Assess hydro Plant

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 2, 2004

It has been disclosed in Monrovia that a team of Chinese experts are expected in the country to carry out a comprehensive assessment of the Mount Coffee Hydro plant; as Timothy T. Seaklon reports.

Ambassador Lin Songtian, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Liberia, said the team will include five experts from the largest electricity company in the PRC.

“ I ‘ve already sent the visas for the five experts, and they are expected in the country soon for the assessment and the possible rebuilding of the Mount Coffee hydro plant,” Ambassador Songtian disclosed.

The Chinese Ambassador made the disclosure yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on the Management and Staff of The INQUIRER at its Gurley Street office.

Ambassador Songtian said electricity being a cardinal key to investment, there is a need to expand the hydro plant.

The Chinese Ambassador said studies have revealed that the Mount Coffee hydro plant’s reservoir can store water for seven months in the year, and expressed his country’s desire to ensure that it is expanded to store more water for 12 months.

He said no investor can come to a country and expect to make business only for seven months, saying, “electricity is very essential to the economic development of every country and its people.”

The Chinese envoy said Liberia has several rivers and there is a dire need to build hydro plants on some of these rivers to speed up the country’s economic development.

Ambassador Songtian said he will personally encourage Chinese investors to come to Liberia and foster the country’s economic development.

Touching on the Liberian peace process, Ambassador Songtian said while Liberians are working for the attainment of peace, they should also be in the vanguard for economic development.

He said China believes in peace for the attainment of economic development, saying “here in Liberia, after the fighters have disarmed, there is a need to stimulate investment which would in turn promote economic development to provide jobs for the entire Liberian populace.”

Ambassador Songtian said China needs the Liberian peace process to be on a sound foundation with the sincere and good participation of the parties. “No peace, no development, no production and no jobs,”Ambassador Songtian stressed.

He said the People’s Republic of China will be a sincere partner that will ever cooperate with Liberia in its post-war reconstruction and development.

He said to maintain the bilateral relationship between Liberia and the PRC, the interest of the people must be reflected and not the interest of just a few.

Ambassador Songtian said the Chinese contingent in UNMIL has 275 engineers with Bachelor degrees and no ordinary soldiers.

He said they are building roads in Zwedru and constructing a bridge in Rivercess County, which when completed will be toured by the Liberian media.

Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador praised The INQUIRER for its objectivity, saying“ it is through your newspaper that we are informed about the kind of country you have and the people.”

Following a guided tour of the facilities of The INQUIRER, Ambassador Songtian remarked “you are industrious and hard working people. I understand and see that you work under difficult circumstances.”

He urged The INQUIRER to continue the good work which will ensure the peace and economic development for the Liberian people.

In response, The INQUIRER’s Managing Editor Philip N. Wesseh thanked Ambassador Songtian for the sentiments expressed and welcomed him to the offices of the paper.

The INQUIRER boss pledged the institution’s support to the PRC’s efforts aimed at contributing to Liberia’s reconstruction and economic development.

He said the Liberian press which operates under difficult circumstances wants the parties to the conflict respect the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in Accra, Ghana.

Mr. Wesseh said the Liberian media of which The INQUIRER is a major part, supports the DDRR process and wants a free and fair elections come 2005.

The Chinese Ambassador was accompanied to the offices of The INQUIRER by some officials of his diplomatic mission.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.