Tonga : Grid Enhancement for Sustainable Energy Transition Project (formerly Grid Strengthening Project)

Sovereign Project | 49450-043

The project will: (i) construct a new 33 kV transmission line of about 11.50 km from Fualu, where the 20 MW solar PV will be located, to Popua power station and installations of 2 sets of 33/11 kV transformers, 2 sets of outdoor circuit breakers, associated protection and control panels, and a backup 11 kV connection; (ii) rehabilitate about 7.50 km of the existing 11 kV medium-voltage transmission network feeder running to the western part of Tongatapu to support in managing voltages and reducing losses; (iii) provide capacity development and training to improve the skills and knowledge of Tonga Power Limited (TPL) staff in the 33 kV line construction and operation and maintenance; and (iv) help prepare a gender policy and social inclusion plan for TPL.

Project Details

Related Projects

Project Name
Grid Enhancement for Sustainable Energy Transition Project (formerly Grid Strengthening Project)
Project Number
49450-043
Country / Economy
  • Tonga
Project Status
Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant: Grid Enhancement for Sustainable Energy Transition Project (formerly Grid Strengthening Project)
Source Amount
Concessional ordinary capital resources lending US$ 1.00 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
Some gender elements
Description
The project will: (i) construct a new 33 kV transmission line of about 11.50 km from Fualu, where the 20 MW solar PV will be located, to Popua power station and installations of 2 sets of 33/11 kV transformers, 2 sets of outdoor circuit breakers, associated protection and control panels, and a backup 11 kV connection; (ii) rehabilitate about 7.50 km of the existing 11 kV medium-voltage transmission network feeder running to the western part of Tongatapu to support in managing voltages and reducing losses; (iii) provide capacity development and training to improve the skills and knowledge of Tonga Power Limited (TPL) staff in the 33 kV line construction and operation and maintenance; and (iv) help prepare a gender policy and social inclusion plan for TPL.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Following the development of the Tonga Energy Road Map 2021-2035 (TERM Plus), the government has decided to bring forward the goal of 70% renewable energy by 2025. This accelerated target is aimed at switching about 70 GWh per year electricity generation from imported fossil fuel to renewable sources prior to reaching the ambitious target to completely remove fossil fuel as the source of electricity generation by 2035. This target is set not only to demonstrate the commitment of the government to their climate ambition, but also to further reduce the cost of electricity generated by imported fossil fuels. To achieve the 70% renewable energy target by 2025, Tonga Power Limited (TPL) launched the Renewable Accelerated Power Independence Project (RAPID) in 2022 to scale up private sector investment in renewable energy power generation. Under the Tonga Renewable Energy Project supported by ADB, TPL engaged transaction advisors to procure renewable energy from independent power producers (IPP). The final RAPID project design is a 20 MW solar PV coupled with 20 MW / 50 MWh BESS located in Fualu and the IPP has been selected. It is expected that the project will be ready to evacuate power from the IPP by early 2026.

Along with the launching of the RAPID project, TPL commissioned a grid impact study to assess the feasibility of the IPP integration to the Tongatapu electricity system. The findings of the study show that the existing 11 kV Tongatapu network has insufficient capacity to efficiently evacuate the electricity generated by the future 20 MW solar PV to the rest of the system and needs to be upgraded and strengthened to avoid significant power system losses. TPL will need to construct a new transmission line at a higher voltage of 33 kV between the IPP project site and Popua power station. In addition, the effectiveness of the PPA is contingent upon established agreements of grant funding to finance the necessary enhancement and upgrade of the existing grid to evacuate power from the IPP.

Impact

Access to renewable energy increased.

Tonga's dependence on fossil fuel decreased.

Outcome

Supply of clean and reliable electricity increased.

Outputs

Transmission infrastructure to deliver renewable supply enhanced.

Capacity development and support provided.

Geographical Location

Safeguard Categories

Environment
B
Involuntary Resettlement
C
Indigenous Peoples
C

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
The due diligence confirms that risks and impacts will be site-specific, limited to the construction stage and therefore largely temporary. The risks and impacts can be readily mitigated with the application of good industry practice and the mitigation measures identified in the project's environmental management plan (EMP) included in the initial environmental examination (IEE). The project will comply with both ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement 2009 (SPS) and the Tongan country safeguards system, including the 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 Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.
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. The PMU will confirm any affected crops and trees in the project site, consult with owners and will engage the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests. A national Social and Gender officer will be engaged under the PMU to support project implementation including the preparation and implementation of a Stakeholder Engagement Plan and Community Consultation Plan.
Indigenous Peoples
The project will not adversely affect any indigenous peoples or any site of national significance. The PMU will include a chance find procedure to identify key steps if any cultural or heritage sites are discovered during project implementation as well as the engagement of owners of these sites and relevant government Ministries.

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
The primary stakeholders and 13 village communities in the project area were consulted in regards for the background of the project. The second primary stakeholders in regard to land matters is the national government represented by Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Land, District and Town Officers and TPL who is the primary responsible counterpart for the operation of electricity in Tonga. A total of 4 consultation meetings were held. An overview of the project was provided, along with the estimated timeline for the proposed work. The participants were then asked a number of questions in relation to tariff, home appliances, and climate resilience. There were no issues raised in relation to social impacts, including involuntary resettlement, of the project for Siaatoutai, Puke, Hofoa, Tu'atakilangi, Longolongo, Fanga, Pahu, Mataika, Ngele'ia, Halaleva, Ma'ufanga, Havelu, Tofoa. The proposed investments were welcomed with a recognition that improved efficiencies, better electricity access, also climate resilience. There were some comments on improved cost efficiencies, particularly through the savings from electricity losses. Further to the consultation with communities, a number of meetings with other key government and nongovernment stakeholders were undertaken as part of the safeguards process.
During Project Implementation
The PMU will prepare a stakeholder communication strategy that will target key project stakeholders such as community members including older men and women, civil society organizations (including organizations of people with disabilities), and relevant government agencies and submit to ADB for approval within 3 months after grant effectiveness. All communication will be in the language suitable for the specific audience and will follow the ADB Public Communication Policy. The stakeholder strategy will incorporate the following components: (i)Compilation of stakeholder communication activities already undertaken; (ii) Role of PSC in coordinating and communicating with relevant government stakeholders; and (iii) Public communication plan for disseminating information regarding project development to the public who may be impacted by the proposed projects. This includes the project's stakeholder engagement plan (SEP) and community consultation plan (CCP). Stakeholder communication and consultation will continue throughout the project implementation.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services
Six consulting services contracts (combination of firms and individual contracts).
Procurement

1. One Works contract: 11kV/33kV work will be combined in one package through an open competitive bidding, internationally advertised 1S1E approach using SBD (Plant). This will be under advance contracting.

2. One RFQ package for vehicles.

Contact

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

Timetable

Concept Clearance
-
Fact Finding
11 Mar 2024 to 18 Mar 2024
MRM
-
Approval
-
Last Review Mission
-
Last PDS Update
16 Apr 2024

Funding

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.

None currently available.


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.

Title Document Type Document Date
Grid Enhancement for Sustainable Energy Transition: Initial Environmental Examination Initial Environmental Examination May 2024

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
49450-TON: Grid Enhancement for Sustainable Energy Transition Project Advance Notice Active

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

None currently available.