3 May, 2017. A signing ceremony for the introduction of wind power renewable energy generation in Tongatapu was signed yesterday morning in Nuku’alofa between the Governments of Tonga and Japan to provide Tonga with a grant of JPY2.1 billion, the equivalent of TOP40 million.
The signing ceremony was performed between the Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, HE Mr. Yukio Numata and the Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva together with the Deputy Prime Minister Hon Siaosi Sovaleni and JICA Fiji representative, Mr. Sawada.
The disbursement of the fund from the grant facility will be allocated towards the construction of five wind turbines in Niutoua adding a further 1.3 MW in total to Tonga’s renewable energy portfolio.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Mr Numata said “This project follows on from the project for the introduction of a micro-grid control system and solar PV which was completed in March 2015.
The project aims to assist the Government of Tonga to achieve its goal of increasing the proportion of renewable energy to 50% of Tonga’s electricity supply generation in accordance with the Government’s implementation policy in Tonga’s Energy Road Map 2010-2020 (TERM)”
He adds, “The project is unique as it is based on another study of Tonga’s vulnerability to natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunami and cyclones”.
The Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva extended his heartfelt gratitude on behalf of His Majesty and the Kingdom of Tonga to the Government and people of Japan for the generous grant for the implementation of this wind power generation system.
He said, “Energy is a vital element in Tonga’s social and economic development and it enhances the wellbeing and livelihood of the Tongan people”.
“The Government of Tonga has taken extensive measures to ensure that clean and renewable energy is accessible, well maintained and transforming to the economic landscape of the physical environment and eco-system”, he adds.
Tonga was the first Pacific Island Country to create the first clean energy road map which recognises the urgent need for a transition to renewable energy and its commitment to obtain a 100% renewable energy by 2035.
The Prime Minister commented the generous assistance of the Government of Japan towards the recently implemented solar project in Vaini and the soon to be implemented project for wind power generation.
These projects as well as others to follow will be instrumental in ensuring Tonga has access to clean energy sources that are reliable, cost effective and sustainable.
Hon. Pohiva acknowledged the presence of Mr. Motoo Hayashi, Acting Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, the Governor of Kochi Prefecture and Mayor of Hiraoka Town in Wakayama Prefecture and the Japanese delegates who travelled from Japan to attend the ceremony.
Mr. Motoo Habayashi hopes that the grant agreement signed today and the projects to follow will contribute to the sustainable development of Tonga and further strengthens the friendly relations between the two countries.
The construction phase will start later this year and is expected to be completed in May 2019.
-Tonga Power Limited