29 June 2017
Cheaper, more reliable electricity for Solomon Islands within reach as Australia commits AUD 17 million for the Tina River Hydro Project
Solomon Islands is one step closer to cheaper and more reliable electricity that will boost business activity and improve people’s lives.
Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells announced today that Australia has committed up to AUD 17 million for the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (Tina River Hydro). Australia will support construction of the access road to the project site in East Guadalcanal and technical assistance for the Solomon Islands Government to manage the project’s implementation.
“Australia is proud to support this major nation-building project,” Minister Fierravanti-Wells said, “Tina River Hydro has the potential to transform the Solomon Islands business environment by reducing electricity prices, which are currently among the most expensive in the world, and by demonstrating that Solomon Islands is a viable investment destination.”
Australia has already invested AUD 9.7 million in the preparation of Tina River Hydro since 2009. This support has helped to attract over USD 145 million in donor finance now committed to the project, including from the World Bank Group, Green Climate Fund and International Renewable Energy Agency. Once confirmed by the Solomon Islands Government and Solomon Islands Electricity Authority, Tina River Hydro will result in around USD 240 million in investment for a major national asset—making it Solomon Islands’ largest ever public-private partnership.
Tina River Hydro is Solomon Islands’ first major renewable energy project, and Australia’s largest single climate finance investment in the Pacific. The project will help transition Solomon Islands away from diesel-powered energy, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help mitigate the impacts of climate change on Solomon Islanders.
Australia’s support for Tina River Hydro is a flagship activity under its AUD 50 million Solomon Islands Growth Program that was launched by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Honiara in December 2016.