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Liberia Buchanan Renewables Engages In Bad Business Practice

Monrovia: Buchanan Renewables (BR) one of several concession companies operating in the tiny West African State of Liberia has been accused of engaging in bad labour practice by a committee setup by the 53rd National Legislature of Liberia.

In March 2008, BR Power entered into a concession agreement and power purchase agreement with the Government of Liberia to construct and operate 36 Megawatt biomass fueled power plant in Liberia.

Under the terms of agreement with the United States Government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation which committed US$112million in debt for the project, BR should have leased land for the construction site.

In addition, the company should complete the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, tendered and negotiate construction contracts.

But instead of all of these, the Company's operation in Liberia has been questioned by members of the Liberia Lower House of Representatives.

According to an investigation report of the Committee comprising of Investment and Concession, Judiciary Lands, Mines and Energy, Contracts and Monopolies and Public Utility of the 53rd House of Representatives in relation to Buchanan Renewables Power operation in Liberia, a copy in the possession of African Standard noted the investigation came about as a result of a complaint filed by Lofa County District Number 5 Representative Hon Moses Y. Kollie.

"Hon. Kollie in his complaint requested the Lower House Plenary to invite the Ministries of Finance and Lands, Mines and Energy including the Chief Executive Officer of BR to address three counts raised against the company" the report said.

The report added that three counts rise against the company includes:

1. That BR is to provide US$50,000.00 as Education Grants for support of the Liberian technical and engineering education every in line with 7.11 of the Concession Agreement.

2. That BR is to provide not less than five of the most senior positions according to 7.6(c) of and agreement and

3. That BR has not begun the process of producing electric power since April 1, 2009 the concession agreement was approved.

According to the Joint Committee the counts raised by Hon. Kollie as major issues the Buchanan Renewables (Monrovia) Power has vehemently reneged on since its operation in Liberia became effective.

The Liberia House of Representatives investigation report said the company's General Manager Liam Hickry in response to the said BR as a company has not been responsive and affective in regard to the counts outlined due to the mere fact that effective date for the implementation of the terms of the contracts as enshrined in the agreement has not reached and/or matured.

"The BR General Manager attributed the delay in the production of electricity to the affected communities for the fact that the power plant has not been constructed and other aspects of the agreement are yet to be ratified" the report further said.

Further addressing himself to the alleged exportation of wood chips by his company, Mr. Hickry confirmed being aware of the aforementioned exportation but categorically labeled such business under a different management.

It was from this point that the Joint Committee became very assertive thus, labeling BR as a company that was seriously engaged in bad business practice.

Recently, members of Liberia House of Representatives banned the exportation of the company

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