Solar powered desalination plant for Vanuatu


The eastern part of Ambae Island and Aniwa Island in Vanuatu will soon have a solar powered desalination plant after the Vanuatu government signed a financing agreement for the project with the Pacific Environment Community (PEC).<!--more-->

The US$4million project initially approved by the PEC Fund Joint Committee on 24 April 2013 is a direct response to the impacts of climate change to the vulnerable community of the habitants of Ambae and Aniwa Islands.

[caption id="attachment_5176" align="alignright" width="450"]<a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-5176" alt="Vanuatu-lrg" src="" width="450" height="207" /></a> L-R Hon. Mr. Maki Simelum, Minister of Finance &amp; Economic Management; Mr. Jonathan Mitchell Manager PEC Fund; Mr. Kinzo Nakagun Chief of Mission and Counsellor, Embassy of Japan, Fiji at the signing ceremony in Vanuatu.[/caption]

Under the fund, the project will provide access to a safe supply of water to the healthcare centre and approximately 10,500 people on Eastern Ambae as well as provide water to approximately 350 residents on the Island of Aniwa.

The Government of Vanuatu will implement the project through the Energy Department with technical assistance from the Public Works Department, the Japanese private sector and a local private sector firm for the first two years, who will be engaged to perform maintenance service for the service of the solar desalination plant before the gradual handing over of systems to the Government of Vanuatu.

Maki Simelum, Vanuatu’s Minister of Finance &amp; Economic Management, Kinzo Nakagun, Chief of Mission and Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan based in Fiji and Jonathan Mitchell, Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund Manager were present to mark the occasion with the recipients of the project and other government representatives of Vanuatu.

The PEC Fund is a commitment by the Government of Japan to provide ¥6.8billion (approximately US$66 million) to Forum Island Countries (FICs) to tackle environmental issues. Each FIC is provided with an indicative allocation of USD$4million to support projects with a focus on the provision of solar power generation systems and seawater desalination plants or a combination of both. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat administers the fund.

The Governments of Samoa, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, Nauru, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands and now Vanuatu have successfully accessed the PEC Fund for national renewable energy and seawater desalination projects.