The Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant is a hydroelectric facility built in the 1960s in Liberia which was made dysfunctional during the Civil war in the 1990’s. Following years of pillaging is was subsequently reduced to a bare shell. It is now undergoing a $357m rebuild coordinated by the Liberia Electricity Corporation – Project Implementation Unit and funded by the Government of Liberia, Government of Norway, the Government of Germany (KfW), the European Investment Bank and the Government of the United States of America (MCC).
Having secured the main civils work, Dawnus International awarded Holemasters the contract to remove sections of the bridge deck through specialist diamond sawing and cutting techniques.
“Our challenge was to diamond saw and remove 10 spans of an existing bridge deck,” said David Bailie, managing director of Holemasters. “Working in such a remote environment brings with it any number of problems. Equipment breakdowns are difficult to repair and working above the flow of the Saint Paul River and around active sluice gates can bring with it exceptional health and safety issues.”
Each concrete bridge section was 14m long x 9m wide x 650mm deep. Each section had then to be cut into 14 sections to enable the concrete to be lifted away by a crane.
Various other previous event delays had impacted on this part of the project which meant that very tight timescales had to be met. Over a 10 month period, Holemasters was required to make 10 operational visits each lasting 7 days at a time.
In order to accommodate such a schedule, the Holemasters operatives used their expert knowledge and experience to assist Dawnus in developing a demolition scheme that would greatly reduce the time needed to demolish and remove the existing bridge deck.
Through the implementation of this amended demolition plan, Dawnus was able to reduce the programme by one week per section.
“The Holemasters operatives have performed very well at the Mount Coffee site,” said Richard Samuel, Project Manager at Dawnus International. “They are knowledgeable, helpful and cooperative operators who have shown a significant knowledge of the equipment they use and a practical understanding of difficult demolition activities.
“The operatives went above and beyond what was required of them on site; they have not only undertaken the diamond saw cutting works for which they were engaged but also taken time to assist in training the Liberian workforce. They have been a great asset to Dawnus throughout this project and have played a significant role in reducing the overall programme duration.”