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EIB signs Extension of European technical assistance with Fiji Electricity Authority

During an official visit to Fiji, Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle of the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an extension of the EIB’s technical assistance programme with the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA).

The planned Technical Assistance will focus on Viti Levu, the largest island of the Fijian archipelago, which was hit hard by the category 5 Cyclone Winston earlier this year. The storm sadly took the lives of 44 people and did tremendous material damage, also cutting off parts of the island from its electricity supply. The goal of the EIB’s technical assistance is to support the establishment of a Transmission Network Development Plan (TNDP) to expand the electricity supply on Viti Levu to ensure medium-to-long-term evacuation and redundancy of power.

The programme will specifically assess measures that rebuild the transmission sector in a more climate-resilient way, to better withstand possible future natural disasters. It builds on a Technical Assistance initiative dealing with hydropower development on the Ba River, for which FEA and EIB signed a Cooperation Agreement in June 2015. Both initiatives will be supported by a regional facility of the European Union named the Investment Facility for the Pacific (IFP).

Work on the TNDP will start with technical and financial/economic analyses of transmission network development alternatives followed by the preparation of bidding documents required for international tendering of the first priority actions. The EIB’s Technical Assistance will provide the necessary legal, technical and administrative support to that effect. The project is expected to catalyse a significant amount of investments, which could potentially be financed by the EIB alongside other development partners and commercial banks.

“After the Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, enormous efforts were made by the authorities to alleviate the problems this natural calamity caused.” said AmbroiseFayolle, European Investment Bank Vice-President. “The local power system was hit very hard and it will need significant investment to reinforce it against similar future disasters, therefore the EIB is glad that it can support such important infrastructure, to the benefits of all citizens. The EU Bank has supported Fiji in the past and stands ready to continue this partnership through all the means that it disposes of.”

”Sustainable energy is essential for achieving sustainable development. The EU is proud to be working with the European Investment Bank and the Fiji Electricity Authority to develop renewable energy, boost energy savings and cut dependence on oil imports. I am happy to note the progress Fiji is making in the field of sustainable energy and energy efficiency.” said Andrew Jacobs, EU Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific.

“The Mission Statement of the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) is to provide clean and affordable energy solutions to Fiji with at least 90% of the energy requirements through renewable sources by 2025. The European Union’s assistance with grant funding to carry out the feasibility study of the Lower Ba Hydro Scheme and the establishment of the Transmission Network Development Plan (TNDP) for FEA aligns with this mission statement and will assist FEA in achieving its target.” said Hasmukh Patel, CEO of the Fiji Electricity Authority.

During the official visit, VP Fayolle met with Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama as well as Fiji’s Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Public Service & Communications, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Further meetings were held with EU Ambassador Jacobs and other foreign dignitaries to discuss further cooperation. The Delegation also paid a site visit to the Kinoya Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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