Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has said he is impressed with the progress made by the Tina Hydro Development Project.
Prime Minister Sogavare made this remarks when the project team met and briefed him on the project’s development.
During the briefing, the Prime Minister was told, Tina Hydro Development has the potential to generate 100% of Honiara’s power demand during the wet season or alternatively, 50% during the dry season.
He was told the US$120 million hydro project will be operational by 2018 if all goes according to plan with the landowners and the government equally benefiting on the venture.
The Prime Minister was informed, the team has already put out an international tender bid in search for an international developer by July 2015.
It is hoped the construction of the main Tina road will commence later this year.
The group Include Project Manager Mark France, Strategic Advisor Paul Roughan and Fred Conning, Technical Advisor.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was told that the project development is on-going since 2010 despite the lack of tangible developments as conducting feasibility and geotechnical studies and undertaking indigenous land process and community consultations.
Dr Paul Roughan said despite the obvious lack of tangible development especially on infrastructure, consultations with the community and technical studies are important in ensuring the project kicks off.
He said the project is now ready to enter the construction phase where the Tina road and dam construction will begin proper in August this year.
The group reiterated they require a government budget support of SBD$6.3 million his year in addition to the US$15 million donors budget support from World Bank and the New Zealand government.
The Prime Minister assured the team that the government will do all it can to provide additional financial support this year since the project is a national one in terms of power stability in price, foreign exchange and proving credibility of the country as an investment destination.