The Solomon Islands on Monday has inked deals with the Manila-headquartered Asian Development Bank to secure grant and loan worth $ 12 million from the regional lender in order to reinforce access to power and produce renewable energy in the of Malaita Province s capital city of Auki.
The ADB s new funding package for the country comprises a loan and grant of $6 million and $6 million respectively.
The ADB Vice-President Lakshmi Venkatachalam along with Rick Houenipwela, the Minister of Finance and Treasury, the Government of the Solomon Islands, has signed the loan pacts on 16th of this month.
Another project agreement has also been signed amid the bank official, Houenipwela and Martin Sam, Deputy General Manager of the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority.
As part of the project, the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority will be given assistance to set up hydropower production system to change the existing diesel-based production method in the third biggest load center in the Solomon Islands, and connect peri-urban households with the distribution grid.
The Solomon Islands Electricity Authority will be the implementing agency of the Solomon Islands Provincial Renewable Energy Project. The Authority will build the Fiu River Hydropower Plant close to Auki, Malaita, and connect new households with the existing power grid. The employees of the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority will also be given training on the methods of hydroelectricity plant operation.
The ADB official stated, The Fiu River Hydropower Plant will almost completely displace diesel generation in Auki.
Ms. Venkatachalam added, In achieving this, the project will deliver more reliable and cleaner power to Auki and at the same time boost the local economy.
The project will also guide the new households on the opportunity of electricity-based generation of income, and power safety, as well as management of household budget.
The Government of the Solomon Islands is offering around $3 million via Solomon Islands Electricity Authority.
The ADB, which was set up in 1967, is focused for the alleviation of poverty in the Asian region and the Pacific via comprehensive economic and environmentally sustainable development, as well as regional integration. The Manila-based regional lender is owned by 67 members, of which 48 is from the region. The bank offered $21.0 billion in financial support, comprising co-financing of $6.6 billion, in 2013.