APIA, SAMOA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB)-assisted, Samoa Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project, is getting additional combined cofinance of $7.55 million to help the country cut its reliance on fuel oil and to increase energy security.
The new cofinancing support includes a $5.06 million equivalent grant from the European Union and a $2.49 million equivalent grant from the Government of New Zealand. ADB will administer both grants. The Government of Samoa is also providing an additional $1.21 million in counterpart support.
“The funds will help boost the project which supports the government’s drive to reduce Samoa’s reliance on imported fossil fuels for power generation by providing clean and reliable electricity,” said Woo Yul Lee, Energy Specialist from ADB’s Pacific Department.
The additional finance will be used to fund the construction of the new grid-connected Fuluasou small hydropower plant on Upolu Island, with preliminary capacity of 0.68 megawatts. One of the project’s targets is to save about 3.6 million liters of diesel per year as clean power is rolled out to replace diesel generation.
Samoa generates 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 is also providing training for staff of the Electric Power Corporation on operation and maintenance of facilities. The additional grants have increased the overall project investment from the original $23.83 million to $32.59 million
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including co-financing of $9.2 billion.