PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday witnessed the signing ceremony of the Financing Agreement of the Tina River Transmission System at the Heritage Park Hotel.
The transmission system is the critical piece of infrastructure needed to enable the hydropower facility to supply power to Honiara.
It will deliver 70–80 gigawatt hours of renewable energy per annum – enough electricity to meet around 68 per cent of Honiara’s needs.
Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Sogavare described the occasion “yet another historical milestone that takes Solomon Islands one-step closer to realising the benefits that Tina Hydro Project will bring”.
He said whilst the full Tina Hydro project is a much larger undertaking involving many partners, the signing focuses on the further strengthening of the bonds between Solomon Islands and Australia.
He said it would be done through Australia’s expanding investment portfolio in Solomon Islands with a focus on the Tina Hydro project.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (Tina River Project) is Australia’s largest climate finance investment in the Pacific amounting to $SBD362 million between 2009 and 2021 of which:
- 50 percent, [$SBD181 million] in grant funding was provided between 2009 and 2020, for the preparation phase, construction of the access road, technical assistance, and to support operational costs of the Tina River Project Office, and
- A further 50 percent, $SBD181 million from the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) is what was signed today – a financing package comprising a base grant, a contingency grant, and a concessional loan.
“The funds that will be made available will assist the Solomon Islands Government to finance the Tina River Project transmission system, which will ensure transmission lines are provided between the hydropower station and the power distribution centre that will distribute the power to users,” he said.
Sogavare said he is also pleased to note that ‘Solomon Power’ will also have a cost-sharing role in the Tina River transmission system and will contribute approximately $37.6 million to ensure the transmission system is fully funded and implemented.
The prime minister also conveyed the Government’s appreciation to the many other partners that have made the Tina River Hydropower project possible including:
- The World Bank
- The International Finance Corporation (also part of the WB group)
- The Asian Development Bank
…. and other partners including the Green Climate Fund, and other bilateral and multi-lateral partners.