Wednesday, 30 July 2008 7:38 AM

Agreement to Improve Power Services

An agreement for a 28-million dollar grant assistance has been signed to reform and improve the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority.

The agreement was signed Monday by the World Bank, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and the Ministries of Finance and Energy and Mines of the Solomon Islands government.

The grant assistance is specifically to recruit professionals, experienced utility managers and strengthen the board members of SIEA, and to repair and improve power distribution services.

Speaking after the signing, World Bank's Antonie de Wilde says one the greatest problems of SIEA is line losses and transmission losses in its distribution system of electricity.

"Currently there are, apart from the people that borrow electricity but don't pay for. There are real technical losses which is about 20 percent of the system. So you produce seven megawatts of power and only five megawatts of power are reach the customer. So the two megawatts is lost. So we're are going to take that away, so that when seven megawatts of power is produced, seven megawatts is also reaching the customer. So your total use of diesel will be less."