AUSTRALIA is committing a further $7.9 million (AUD$1.4 million) towards the Tina River Hydro Power Project.
This extra funding will go towards the construction of the access road to the dam site and power station.
“The Tina River Hydro Power project is a high priority project for Solomon Islands and for the Pacific,” a statement issued by the Australian High Commission in Honiara said.
“The Australian Government is a strong supporter of the project which has the potential to transform the Solomon Islands business environment by reducing electricity prices, which are among the most expensive in the world,” the statement added.
“It will also be the first ever public-private partnership scheme for the Solomon Islands Government, and its success will be a tangible demonstration that Solomon Islands is a viable destination for international investment.”
The statement said the $7.9 million (AUD$1.4 million) will meet a funding gap identified for the construction of the access road to the dam site and power station – a key component of the project supported by Australia.
“Australia appreciates the strong leadership of the Solomon Islands Government, and is looking forward to the signing of the key project agreements on 30 November, particularly the Power Purchase Agreement that will set the electricity tariff for the next 30 years.
“This will be a significant step in moving the project from the preparation to implementation phase.”
Australia had already contributed AUD$10.4 million ($58.7 million) for the preparation phase, and with this additional commitment, it will now provide up to AUD$18.4 million ($103.8 million) for the implementation phase, taking Australia’s total contribution to AUD$28.8 million ($162.5 million).