"The Solomon Islands Government’s objective is to ensure that communities experience benefits from the presence of projects in their territory at all stages of the project from development to operation."
This was the statement done yesterday by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Maelangawhen, when he made reference to the Tina Hydropower Development Project at the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland, New Zealand
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the unprecedented nature of Tina Hydro has therefore demanded an unprecedented approach of “Power through Partnership” to obtain and maintain “the free prior and informed consent” of the indigenous landowning peoples of the Tina River region.
The Tina Hydro has had to take this Power through Partnership approach due to the unprecedented nature of the project.
The Deputy Prime Minister said, “It is unprecedented in terms of size and duration, with an estimated project cost of more than USD100m, and a project lifespan of at least 100 years”.
He continued, “It is unprecedented in that it involves the involvement of the private sector in an Independent Power Producer (IPP) and Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) basis”.
He further continued, “It is unprecedented in the scale and distribution of the benefits to the country that we anticipate arising from it. It will produce sufficient power annually to boost the share of renewable energy in the national generation mix past 70%, and will, through its catchment, protect more than 130 square kilometers of virgin mountain forest”.
The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that there are huge investment opportunities for interested potential Independent Power Producers to develop our renewable energy resources and sell power to the national utility under Power Purchase Agreement arrangements. The Tina River Hydropower Project is but the first of these large opportunities.
He also confirmed that there are further opportunities for investments in power transmission components, renewable energy technology suppliers and related civil infrastructure construction contractors.
With this line up of opportunities, the Deputy Prime Minister concluded that the Solomon Islands Government is committed to the ongoing formation of an effective and appropriate policy framework which is able to provide robust and stable support to ongoing growth of the renewable energy sector in the medium and long term.
The Deputy Prime Minister is accompanied by Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Mines and Energy, Mr. Rence Sore, Director of Energy, Mr. John Korinihona, Project Manager TRHDP, Mr. Mark France, Strategic Advisor TRHDP, Mr. Paul Roughan, General Manager SIEA, Mr. Norman Nichols and Deputy General Manager SIEA, Mr. Martin Sam.
Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit