Funding plan for proposed Alaoa multi-purpose dam

An October 2018 concept paper for the proposed multi-purpose dam at Alaoa says the dam will cost US$82.1 million but it could increase. 

The multi-purpose dam at Alaoa is proposed to be a triple bonus for the community: an improved water supply in the dry season, a hydropower plant in the wet season and a flood control system for the urban area below the Vaisigano river.

In the concept paper, which details the proposed (not yet confirmed) plan, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has proposed a $20 million grant towards adaptation and mitigation of climate change.

$52.6 million will come from the Green Climate Fund for adaptation purposes and the Government of Samoa is putting up $9.5 million through exemptions in taxes and duties.

A further $12.60 million required has yet to have a confirmed funding source, and the GCF funding needs to be considered by the fund’s board in October 2019.

The figure in the concept paper is an ADB estimate, as the costs of land compensation, land surveys and some construction of access roads have not been factored in.

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The consultancy firm Entura visited Samoa twice early last year and reported on the feasibility of the dam.

According to the report, the dam project will be the “largest infrastructure project in Samoa.” 

It suggests the hydropower plant could reduce Samoa’s carbon emissions by 280 tons per year, and of the total figure would have US$3.5 million of ADB funding (while the remainder would go towards the flood protection project). 

Thus far the project has been supported under the ADB’s Renewable Energy Investment Facility, which is a technical assistance fund. ADB also funded a consultation in 2013 of the same dam proposal, by Austrian firm Posch and Partners.

The concept paper shows that several reports that were due in December 2018 are not yet published on the website, including an economic report, financial report, environmental impact assessment report, draft due diligence report or resettlement plan. 

According to ADB senior external relations officer Sallyanne Shute-Trembath, all feasibility study reports, including the environment and social safeguards reports are due in the second quarter of 2019.

“All existing information related to financing, technical designs and social, poverty and safeguards issues are subject to further confirmation from the ongoing due diligence,” she explained.

Of all the required reports the initial poverty and social analysis is the only one publicly available.

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