Australia has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to the Tina River Hydropower Development Project by providing an additional SBD1.9 million to support its Project Office. This builds on the AUD28.8 million Australia has already provided to the Tina River Hydropower project through the World Bank to support the preparation and implementation phase.
The additional funding will help the Office carry out its role overseeing the project on behalf of the Solomon Islands Government. This includes monitoring adherence to social and environmental safeguards, organising land acquisition and benefit-sharing arrangements, and undertaking community consultations in 2020-21.
The Tina River Hydropower Project is Solomon Islands’ first large-scale publicprivate-partnership (PPP), its largest renewable energy project, and Australia’s largest climate finance investment in the Pacific.
At a signing ceremony this week with Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, the Honorable Bradley Tovosia, Australian High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan said he was pleased to be delivering the additional funding as part of Australia’s support to the Solomon Islands Government to manage the health and economic impacts of the COVID pandemic.
“It is vital for Solomon Islands that transformational infrastructure projects like Tina River Hydropower are not impeded by COVID during this unprecedented time,” Dr Strahan said.
“The Tina River Hydropower Project is expected to provide 350 jobs during peak construction, enabling more skilled and unskilled locals to be part of the team.
“Australia is pleased to be delivering additional funding to the Project Office as it plays a critical role in monitoring and ensuring the project goes ahead according to plan.”
Minister Tovosia said the Tina River Hydropower Project continues to remain a priority project for the Solomon Islands.
“The Government greatly appreciates and is thankful to the Government of Australia for its continued support to the Project. The offered assistance will help the project office manage this important nation building project during these uncertain times,” the Minister said.
Construction of the access road for the SBD1.8 billion dollar Tina River Hydropower Project is due to commence later this month.
Once complete, the new hydropower plant will help transition the Solomon Islands away from diesel-powered energy, giving people to access more affordable renewable electricity. It will also strengthen energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.