55 Tongatapu villages benefit from NZ$30.7 million
NUKU’ALOFA – September 12, 2018: 2.30pm (Nuku’alofa Times): A total of 55 villages around the rural areas of Tongatapu now have power supply thanks to the New Zealand government.
The goal of the NZ$30.7 million New Zealand-funded Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project was to provide a modern and resilient electricity network, which would deliver reliable and safe electricity to households in rural Tongatapu.
This goal was successfully achieved with 55 villages benefiting from the project since 2011. Network faults decreased significantly and of the 11,450 upgraded connections, over 2,500connections were to households with no previous access to electricity.
New Zealand High Commissioner HE Tiffany Babington and Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications (MEICECC) Minister Hon Poasi Tei marked the conclusion of the Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project on Wednesday, September 5 – three months ahead of schedule.
The Government of Tonga benefited from the Tongatapu Village Network Upgrade Project through increased network efficiency, reduced diesel consumption and the associated reduction in the cost of diesel imports.
The upgraded network also proved more resilient to extreme weather conditions, following Cyclone Gita earlier this year, with less damage in villages upgraded.
The closing ceremony was hosted by Tonga Power Limited and held at Tupou College, the final community to receive benefits from the upgrade in rural Tongatapu.
The NZ$30.7 million Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project represents the largest component of New Zealand’s development assistance to Tonga and its biggest investment in Tonga’s energy sector and in the Pacific.
New Zealand will continue supporting Tonga to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate the impacts of climate change through a NZ$11 million agreement with Government of Tonga for the first phase of the Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project.
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