20 Jan 2015

Solomons Tina hydro project to kick off 2016

4:28 pm on 20 January 2015

A major Solomon Islands hydro project is in the final phase of preparation, with construction set to start in March next year.

Manasseh Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

The manager of the 120 million US dollar Tina hydro project on Guadalcanal, Mark France, says two consortia have been shortlisted to develop their bids for the project in June.

The Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has expressed his support after meeting project executives, pledging contributions to the multi-lateral donor funding for the project.

Mr France says the new government's commitment is key to having the powerplant completed in 2018.

"This project office has been operating now for five years. And we are excited that we are within less than twelve months of having a developer start getting that thing going. So that will be a big day for Solomon Islands when it happens."

Mark France says once operational the Tina River hydro station will reduce the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority's diesel costs by 80-85 percent, supplying all of the power of the capital Honiara during the wet season.