5 Oct 2005

World Bank to bail out Solomons Electricity Authority

4:44 pm on 5 October 2005

A deal has been reached between Solomon Islands and the World Bank to save the national electricity authority from insolvency.

An audit revealed the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority, or SIEA, has a debt of more than 23 million US dollars.

The Minister for Mines and Energy, Basil Manelegua, says a five year management funding contract has been reached with the World Bank, to ensure the continuation of the SIEA and maintain the supply of electricity in the Solomons.

Mr Manelegua says the current company management will remain and be supported by World Bank officials

"I think the world bank will provide funding for the contract. They are providing funding for the energy sector which is part of their priorities. So World Bank, they are working on a priority of the government on energy."

Mr Manelegua says the government will continue plans for the increase of electricity in rural areas and look at alternative energy sources such as hydro and bio-diesel.