APIA, SAMOA – Samoa will reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and improve its energy sector’s resilience to future natural disasters with a $23.8 million project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to rehabilitate three small hydropower plants on Upolu and construct three new hydropower plants on Upolu and Savai’i.
“Fuel imports to power the country’s electrical grid cost about 10% of GDP each year,” said Paul Hattle, Energy Specialist and ADB project team leader. “Lowering Samoa’s reliance on fossil fuels will help free up government funds for other needs while improving national energy security and sustainability.”
Samoa derives 60% of its energy from diesel generators, with total fuel imports amounting to 95 million liters in 2012, the same year the country’s hydropower plants were severely damaged by Cyclone Evan.
The project, which will provide training to the Electric Power Corporation on operation and maintenance so customers have access to a higher share of reliable electricity, will save about 3.6 million liters of diesel per year.
The project is the first to make use of ADB’s Disaster Response Facility, which allows a member country to access up to 100% of its annual performance-based allocation to respond to disasters. A series of grants will be used to fund the project, including $10 million sourced from ADB’s Asian Development Fund (ADF), an $8.21 million grant from the DRF, and a $1 million grant provided by the Multi-Donor Clean Energy Fund. The Government of Samoa will contribute $4.6 million.
The executing agency for the project will be the Ministry of Finance, and the implementing agency will be the Electric Power Corporation.
ADB's assistance to Samoa during 2013-2014 is approximately $47 million comprising country allocations ($28 million), disaster facility ($8.21 million) and regional ADF facility ($11 million).