Australia has made a second 8-million Australian dollars tranche payment towards the Tina River Hydro Project.
A statement from the Australian High Commission office in Honiara said this follows successful negotiations in Sydney in late April 2018 between the Solomon Islands Government, Solomon Power and private sector developers, the Korea Water Resources Corporation and Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd.
It said new electricity tariff and key project agreements were substantially agreed at these meetings.
The statement said this contribution will support construction of the access road to the project site in East Guadalcanal and technical assistance for the Solomon Islands Government to manage the project’s implementation.
Project construction is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
Australia’s support for Tina River Hydro Project is a flagship activity under its 50-million Australian dollars Solomon Islands Growth Program launched by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Honiara in December 2016.
This payment brings the total disbursement for the implementation phase to 16-million Australian dollars, totaling support for the project at 24.7-million Australian dollars to date.
Meanwhile, Tina River Hydro Project has the potential to transform the country’s business environment by reducing electricity prices, which are currently among the most expensive in the world, and as the first public-private partnership scheme, its success will demonstrate that Solomon Islands is a viable destination for international investment.
It is Solomon Islands’ first major renewable energy project, and Australia’s largest climate financing investment in the Pacific.
The project will help move Solomon Islands away from fossil fuel energy, strengthen energy security, reduce its exposure to the volatile global fuel prices, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, meeting Solomon Islands international commitments for emission reductions under the Paris Agreement.
In June 2017, the Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells announced Australia’s commitment of up to 17-million Australian dollars for the implementation phase of the Tina River Hydro Project.
Australia’s support is delivered in partnership with the World Bank.
By: Rickson Bau.