Senate ratifies US$2.6B Agreement
Over 3,000 Liberians to get Jobs soon
By Stephen Binda
The Liberian Senate has finally ratified the China Union US$2.6 Billion Agreement, which now clears the way for the Chinese Bong Range in Lower Bong. The 30 Senators also ratified the agreement between to Government of Liberia and Buchanan Renewable Energy (BRE) as well as.
The Senate took the decision on Wednesday April 1, 2009 following more than three hours in an executive session.
The Senate decision follows the House of Representatives decision in which they ratified same agreements thus sending it to the Senate for concurrence.
The two agreement been ratified by the both house of the National Legislature is expected to provide several jobs opportunities for Liberians in the mining sector.
The 2.6 Billion Dollars China Union agreement is the biggest investment so far in the history of Liberia and it would provide and built one million ton-a-year capacity refining factory at the Bong iron mines, about 150 km north of the nation’s capital Monrovia,
The building of the one Million refining factory is expected to be completed within 12 beginning the commencement of it work.
The China Union investment would also create over 3,000 jobs for Liberians within three years and jobs created indirectly in the long run could be as higher as 70,000.
It can be recalled that before Liberia's 1989-2003 civil war, mines were run by a German company, the Bong Mining Company (BMC). But it was criticized for not carrying out development projects in the region.
As for BRE agreement it expected to provide electricity to the surroundings of Monrovia before 2010 according to the agreement.
According to the agreement, BRE is to embark on a 35-Mega Watt power for Monrovia to be fuelled by Liberia rubber wood chips. The Plant according to the agreement is to last for about 25 years.
The construction of the plant and the entire project is valued at US$100m and that the project is intended to provide electricity to the less income individuals on ground that biomass is far less expensive than those using fuel and gasoline.
Meanwhile the company is expected to bring in its final equipment in October this year. They are expected also to embark on a station in Paynesville and later move throughout the country of Montserrado.
It can be recalled that last year, about US 7 equipment were brought into the country and later this year US$ 8.7m worth of heavy duty equipment was brought into the country aimed at ensuring that they live up to the condition of the contracts.
Since the arrival of the company in Buchanan Grand Bassa County, it has spent US$2.1m for the rehabilitation of the highway connecting Monrovia and Buchanan.
According to BRE, fuel will directly come from rehabilitating Liberian rubber plantations, by non-productive rubber trees, and or replanting or supporting plantations owners to replant their property.
The rubber trees are chipped and either sold into the export market for energy for commercial and industrial applications.
The company is been headed by its chief executive officer, Jim Stelle who has disclosed that his company is making all effort in marking sure that power is provided to Monrovia and its surroundings before 2010.
Meanwhile some Liberians have welcomed the two agreements ratified by the national legislature saying that it creates more job opportunities for all.