EDITORIAL- A step further for Tina Hydro

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WORK on the Tina Hydro Project was given a boost yesterday with the signing of a co-financing agreement in Honiara.

This latest financing agreement between Australia and Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) will avail $218.6 million for the funding of Tina Hydro’s Transmission System.

Australia will provide $181 million while SIEA will chip in $37.6 million.

The transmission system is the third component of the Tina Hydro Project, which is currently being built in central Guadalcanal.

Through the system, power generated from the Hydropower facility in central Guadalcanal will be sent to Honiara Electricity system through two parallel single circuit 66 kilovolt transmission lines of 22 km each to the existing Lungga Diesel Power Station, according to information about the project.

The Transmission System will have a transmission capacity of 15 megawatts, equivalent to the generating capacity of the Tina River Hydropower Development Project.

The Transmission System is expected to deliver 70 – 80 gigawatt hours of renewable energy per annum.

This will supply enough energy to meet around 68per cent of Honiara’s electricity demand.

The cost of this component includes the upgrading of the switchyard of Lungga Power station to accommodate the Tina 66 KV transmission system from the current 33 KV system.

This component will be implemented by SIEA who will contract a supply and installation contractor.

Over 200 jobs are expected to be created during the construction of the Transmission System, according to Tina Hydro Project fact-file.

So yesterday’s signing ceremony was a significant one. It is another step to bringing the hydro project to reality, come December 2023.

Furthermore, Tina Hydro holds so much potential for the nation’s energy needs and business opportunities.

The project is expected to bring the cost of electricity in Honiara down and lessen the country’s reliance on expensive imported diesel.

Thank you Australia for seeing the importance of this project to the nation.