Taiwan disbursed the First Payment of the Community Electrification Project for Rural Solomon Islands.

The Taiwanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands George Chan formally released the first payment of the "Community Electrification Project for Rural Solomon Islands" to the Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua last Friday.

The first payment amounts to SBD$3 million dollars .

Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification David Dei Pacha witnessed the handing-over of the money.

Ambassador Chan said he was pleased that a Memorandum of Understanding for the Renewable Energy Project has been signed between the Government of Solomon Islands and Motech Industries of Taiwan when Dr Sikua visited Taiwan last month.

Mr Chan said Solomon Islands depends heavily on fossil fuels for its energy and transportation.

He said fuel accounts for one third of the country's foreign exchange.

But the country is abundant with enough sunlight all year around, so it has a great potential to exploit solar energy.

Ambassador Chan believed that this solar project will not only address the problem of rural area electrification, but also enhance the rural area economic activity, and the rural area people will greatly benefit from that project.

Prime Minister Dr Sikua expressed the government's appreciation and gratitude for the continuing support and assistance from Taiwan towards Solomon Islands' development endeavors.