Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has been impressed with the progress made by the Tina Hydro Development Project team when the group met and briefed him on the developments. The group included Project Manager Mark France, Strategic Adviser Paul Roughan and Fred Conning, Technical Adviser.
During the briefing, the Prime Minister was told that the Tina Hydro Development has the potential to generate 100 percent of Honiara’s power demand during the wet season or 50 percent during dry season. He was told the US$120 million hydro project will be operational by 2018, if all goes according to plan with the landowners and the government equally benefiting on the venture.
The Prime Minister was told that the team already put out an international tender bid for the project so that an international developer would be selected by July 2015 and that will enable construction of the main Tina road to commence later in the year. The Prime Minister was told that progress on development of the project are on-going since 2010 despite the lack of tangible developments as they project are mainly doing feasibility and geotechnical studies, undertaking indigenous land process and community consultations.
Dr Paul Roughan said despite the obvious lack of tangible development especially on infrastructures, the consultations with the community and technical studies of the project are just as important in ensuring the project is able to kick off. He said now that most of the consultations and studies have been undertaken, the project is now ready to enter the construction phase where the Tina road and dam construction will begin in August 2015.
The group reiterated to the Prime Minister that they require the government’s budget support of 6.3 million for this year alone in addition to US$15 million donor budget support from World Bank and New Zealand government.
Mr Sogavare assured the team that the government will do all it can to provide additional financial support this year since the Tina Hydro project will benefit Solomon Islands in terms of power stability in price, foreign exchange and proving credibility of Solomon Islands as an investment destination.
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