Tonga : Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility: Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project

Sovereign Project | 49450-036

The project will convert the distribution network of the Nuku'alofa with climate resilient infrastructure. The project will (i) convert the open overhead network to covered area bundled conductors, (ii) replace overhead consumer connections to underground cables, (iii) convert existing old distribution poles to climate resilient high standard poles, and (iv) replace ageing distribution switchgear. The project will target the Area 5 of the Tonga Power Limited (TPL)'s overall plan of converting all 5 areas of Nuku'alofa network.

Project Details

Related Projects

Project Name
Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility: Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project
Project Number
49450-036
Country / Economy
  • Tonga
Project Status
Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0868-TON: Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility: Nukualofa Network Upgrade Project
Source Amount
Asian Development Fund US$ 7.20 million
Operational Priorities
  • OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
  • OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
  • OP3: Tackling climate change, building climate and disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability
  • OP4: Making cities more livable
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector
  • Energy / Electricity transmission and distribution

Gender
Effective gender mainstreaming
Description
The project will convert the distribution network of the Nuku'alofa with climate resilient infrastructure. The project will (i) convert the open overhead network to covered area bundled conductors, (ii) replace overhead consumer connections to underground cables, (iii) convert existing old distribution poles to climate resilient high standard poles, and (iv) replace ageing distribution switchgear. The project will target the Area 5 of the Tonga Power Limited (TPL)'s overall plan of converting all 5 areas of Nuku'alofa network.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The Kingdom of Tonga is a small island developing state which is susceptible to natural disasters and climate change impacts due to its geographical location and orientation. The country is therefore exposed to social and economic vulnerability impacting community livelihoods and infrastructure. The project aims to address the vulnerability of electricity network infrastructure and to reconstruct and enhance the infrastructure standards to make them disaster resilience.
Impact

Electricity supply reliability in Nuku'alofa improved.

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Technical power losses and climate vulnerability of the electricity network in Nuku'alofa reduced.

Progress Toward Outcome
Ongoing.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Nuku'alofa electricity network system improved

Project implementation capacity and gender inclusiveness of TPL operations enhanced.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

(1) 3 contracts (1 Goods OCB, 1 FAW and 1 Services Direct Contract) have been awarded; 1 Goods OCB package has been re-advertised with bids closing in Apr24; and 6 RFQs are to be advertised by Q2 2024.

(2) For the Project Management Unit, a national safeguards consultant has been recruited under a separate Safeguards TA; and the recruitment of a Gender Specialist consultant and a Project Management Specialist consultant are ongoing.

Geographical Location
Nuku'alofa

Safeguard Categories

Environment
B
Involuntary Resettlement
C
Indigenous Peoples
C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
The project is classified as category B for environment. The due diligence confirms that risks and impacts will be site-specific, limited to the construction stage and therefore largely temporary. Risks and impacts can be readily mitigated with the application of good industry practice and the measures identified in the project's environmental management plan (EMP)included in the initial environmental examination (IEE). In addition to complying with the requirements of the Safeguard Policy Statement 2009 (SPS), the project will comply with the Tongan country safeguards system, including Environmental Impact Assessment Act 2003. The IEE will be submitted in support of the application for clearance under the country safeguards system, which includes the issue of development consent by the Department of Environment.TPL will implement the project through its current PMU and its current staff (52 local and one international staff). The project will support TPL in implementation by recruitment of a full-time environment management officer to implement and monitor safeguards and all project compliance with capacity building support. The project will also support TPL by the recruitment of a gender specialist to implement the gender action plan. TPL already has an Independent Engineer for supervision and certification, who will be supported by the environmental management officer from the PMU in monitoring compliance with the environmental safeguards requirements. Support will be provided to the PMU's environment management officer through Pacific Department's regional safeguards technical assistance, including an independent review of the construction environmental management plan (CEMP) that TPL will prepare.The IEE and development consent will help guide the implementation of the work. As TPL will undertake the upgrading work themselves, they will undertake a risk assessment of how they intend to approach and implement the works and develop a construction program linked to a CEMP specific to how they will complete the works. The CEMP will be reviewed in the first instance by the environment management officer of the PMU and then independently reviewed by an international environmental specialist recruited under PARD's regional safeguards technical assistance and ADB. When the CEMP is cleared, advice will begiven to the Independent Engineer that they may issue notice to commence works. To manage and ensure compliance with the CEMP, TPL will nominate an installation team member as responsible for monitoring and reporting compliance with the approved CEMP throughout the project construction phase. The PMU will monitor TPL's compliance with the approved CEMP through routine monitoring conducted by the environmental management officer and inspections conducted by the Independent Engineer. The PMU will prepare semiannual safeguards monitoring reports that will be cleared by ADB before being disclosed. The first semiannual safeguards monitoring report for the period 22 January - 30 June 2023 was submitted to ADB in July 2023 and has been disclosed on ADB's website. A grievance redress mechanism has been established under the PMU to record and address any complaints received relating to the project.
Involuntary Resettlement
The project is classified as category C for involuntary resettlement. The project will not require land acquisition or create any involuntary resettlement impacts as the proposed physical works will be undertaken on land already owned by the government. A due diligence report has been prepared to document the ownership of the affected site.
Indigenous Peoples
The project is classified as category C for indigenous peoples. The project will not adversely affect any indigenous peoples or any site of national significance.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
Consultations and surveys in due diligence highlighted several challenges for women, including energy affordability and concerns relating to safety during power disruptions. The gap in labor force participation between men and women is widening, and women's participation in leadership and technical roles continues to be limited.
During Project Implementation
The PMU have already undertaken consultations and are having ongoing dialogue and informal meetings with communities and landowners.

Contact

Responsible ADB Officer
King, Grace
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Energy Sector Office (SG-ENE)
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Finance

Timetable

Concept Clearance
-
Fact Finding
28 Mar 2022 to 13 Apr 2022
MRM
12 Oct 2022
Approval
05 Dec 2022
Last Review Mission
-
Last PDS Update
19 Mar 2024

Funding

Grant 0868-TON

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
05 Dec 2022 08 Dec 2022 20 Jan 2023 30 Jun 2027 - -
Financing Plan
  Total (Amount in US$ million)
Project Cost 8.20
ADB 7.20
Counterpart 1.00
Cofinancing 0.00
Grant Utilization
  Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards 06 Jun 2024 2.95 0.00 41%
Cumulative Disbursements 06 Jun 2024 0.77 0.00 11%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory - Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.


Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

None currently available.


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Gender Specialist (Re- Advertised) Individual - Consulting Closed
Project Management Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Gender Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed
Project No. 49450-036 TON: Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project Invitation for Bids Closed
Project No. 49450-034 TON: Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project (OCB/NNUP05/21) Invitation for Bids Closed
Project No. 49450-036 TON: Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project Invitation for Bids Closed

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor | Address Executing Agency Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Project Management Specialist Grant 0868 24 Apr 2024 Ministry of Finance 140,000.00
Force Account Package (2) to carry out the network construction works under the Project Grant 0868 17 Aug 2023 Tonga Power Limited | PO Box 429, Nuku'alofa, Kingdom of Tonga Ministry of Finance 1,414,000.00
Package 3: Supply of Power Poles Grant 0868 28 Jun 2023 AOTEAROA TONGA FOREST PRODUCTS LIMITED | P.O. Box 164, Nuku'alofa, Tonga Ministry of Finance 1,378,338.40

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project: Procurement Plan Procurement Plans Sep 2022