» Japan’s Aid Benefits Kiribati’s Energy Sector
The Government of the Republic of Kiribati will hold a ceremony to mark the opening of “the Project for Upgrading of Electric Power Supply in Tarawa (Phase II)” funded by the People and Government of Japan. H.E. Mr. Masashi Namekawa, the Ambassador of Japan, will officially open the new facilities on 28th November 2005 at Bikenibeu Power Station in Tarawa.
A sum of 796,000,000 Japanese Yen (approx. US$6,750,000) was provided for the project through Japan’s General Grant Aid programme in July 2004. The project involved four (4) components which are:
- extension of powerhouse building;
- procurement and installation work for generating facilities;
- procurement and installation work for 11kV distribution facilities; and
- procurement of spare parts, maintenance tools and vehicles for components (B) and (C).
Works on extension of the powerhouse building and procurement and installation work for generating facilities have been completed, with the Government of the Republic of Kiribati preparing for the operation of the upgraded facilities for generation of power supply from December 2005. It is envisaged that the upgraded facilities will increase the capacity of the Bikenibeu Power Station in providing electric power, thereby assisting the commercial ventures in their production capacity. In the long term, the funding would contribute to the economic development and growth in Kiribati.
Japan’s assistance to this project indicates its commitment to contribute to the improvement of the living standards and welfare of people in Kiribati and is in line with its Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy of promoting development of underdeveloped and developing countries. It is hoped that this assistance will help further strengthen the friendly ties between the governments and the people of Kiribati and Japan.