[Suva, Fiji] Tuvalu will access US $4million from the Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund to setup desalination plants and solar-power generation for the small island nation in crisis.
“This is a timely project as Tuvalu is currently in a state of emergency due to drought,” said Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.
Tuvalu declared a state of emergency on 28 September 2011 due to lack of fresh-water supply, and having recorded the lowest rainfall in three consecutive years of drought.
“The project will complement efforts being undertaken to address the state of emergency in Tuvalu and will contribute to the long term goals of increased access to a sustainable supply of water during periods of drought, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions through the use of renewable energy.”
The ‘Project of Desalination System and Solar Power Generation under the PEC Fund’ will include a 100m3/day desalination plant for Funafuti, as well as two 10m3/day desalination plants that will be mobile and can be shipped to the outer islands during times of extreme dry periods.
In addition, a 65.52kWp solar PV system will be installed directly to the power grid on the island of Funafuti. The solar PV system will result in annual cost savings equivalent to 38 tonnes of diesel for the Government of Tuvalu and will reduce their carbon emissions.
The US$4million project was approved by the PEC Fund Joint Committee on 7 October 2011. A financing agreement between the Forum Secretariat and Tuvalu will soon be signed with implementation to begin shortly after.
The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan of ¥6.8 billion (approx US$66 million) to support Forum Island Country (FIC) projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and sea water desalination plants, or a combination of both. The PEC Fund is managed and administered by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.