Reliable renewable energy is another step closer for Solomon Islands with the Tina River Hydro Development Project receiving a commitment of $31.6 million in funding support the Government of Korea.

This funding from Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) was approved by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of Korea. The US$31.6 million is a loan to the Solomon Islands Government and will go towards the debt financing of a Project Company.

The EDCF is the Korean Government’s fund for promoting economic development in developing countries and its contribution will support the construction of the Tina hydropower facility.

Tina River Hydro is a crucial nation-building project for Solomon Islands and is expected to significantly transform the country’s energy sector, which is currently burdened with some of the highest per capita energy costs in the world. It is Solomon Island’s first major renewable energy project which promises to massively reduce the country’s near 100 percent reliance on expensive diesel and bring down electricity prices for Solomon Islanders.

Acknowledging this new funding announcement from the Korean Government towards Tina River Hydro project, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare expressed the Government’s appreciated to EDCF and to all the donor partners that are supporting the Government’s commitment to diversify the country’s energy sources and provide affordable energy to all.

“High-cost electricity is a major constraint to business, economic growth, and service delivery in Solomon Islands, therefore the government is committed to making sure Tina River Hydro is delivered,” the Prime Minister said.

The EDCF joins other partners in supporting the Tina River Hydro Project, including the International Renewable Energy Agency/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (IRENA/ADFD) facility, the Green Climate Fund, the Government of Australia and the World Bank. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, has also provided support throughout the development and negotiation process.

This announcement by the Korean Government brings the total donor funding for the Tina Hydro Project formally announced so far to more than USD175 million.

Construction work on the access road leading to the project site, the first stage in the project’s development, is expected to start in 2018.