Major construction work on the Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) is moving ahead this month following the official groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday 2nd November, at the project site in Central Guadalcanal.
The much-anticipated event was officiated by the Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Damukana Sogavare and attended by senior Ministers, including the Minister for Mines, Energy & Rural Electrification, Hon. Bradley Tovosia and officials from the government. Members of the Tina catchment communities also attended and participated in the ceremony performing a traditional welcome and presenting gifts.
Foreign dignitaries from the South Korea Government were also represented with Honorable Yong Woo Kwon, Ambassador of Bureau International des Exposition joining Mr. Jae Hyeon Park, CEO of Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) and Mr Yong Hoon Chang CEO of Tina Hydro Limited (THL).
Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare spoke at the event with enthusiasm about the Project saying “we have already achieved some great things but today, at this ground breaking ceremony, we mark another important milestone.”
He went on to highlight that construction activity is already taking place with much more to follow in 2023. “The next few years of Tina construction will pave the way for further investment and new jobs for our people; helping our economy build back better. We are committed to continue to work with you all and our communities; powering our future together,” the Prime Minister said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of THL, Mr Yong Hoon Chang, who also spoke at the ceremony said, “I appreciate the Solomon Islands Government’s dedicated support for this remarkable Project milestone and especially through recent tough times during the global pandemic.”
“Tina, as the national flagship project when completed, will help ensure the people of Solomon Islands have stable electricity access with a more affordable tariff; making for a better future. And I promise THL is committed to complete the Project for your people.”
Also in attendance were partners, donors and lenders; the Australian High Commission, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Solomon Power.
Located 35 kilometers (km) south east of Honiara at the upstream end of the Ngalimbiu River Basin, Tina is the first major Hydropower project implemented by the Solomon Islands Government and financed by grants and concessional loans from the Australian Government, including the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP), Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Green Climate Fund (GCF), The World Bank, Korea- EX- IM-Economic Development Cooperation Fund (ECDCF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Design plans for future project components were also on display at the ground breaking, creating much excitement for the next phase of construction. Towering behind the stage, attendees were also able to see the recently constructed concrete and crusher plant; both vital pieces of infrastructures that will be used for the construction of the dam and other hydropower facilities.
The Tina River Hydropower Development Project once completed will deliver benefits such as more affordable electricity, improved accessibility and cleaner, more reliable energy sources for communities now and in the future.