Renewable energy target on track

The head of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment says Samoa is on track to reach its 2025 renewable energy target.

The M.N.R.E Chief Executive Officer, Frances Reupena, told the Samoa Observer she is optimistic that Samoa can still achieve a full transition to clean energy in less than five years. 

“All countries including Samoa are affected by COVID-19. However, we are still optimistic that Samoa can still achieve its set target with the assistance from overseas donor partners together with  our hard working local stakeholders within the Energy Sector,” she said.

The C.E.O. said that at the moment approximately 50 per cent of Samoa’s electricity is generated by renewable sources.

“There are several renewable energy projects in the pipeline that can assist us to achieve this target, this includes the Alaoa multipurpose dam, grid market and the newly-launched Afolau biomass gasification plant,” she said.

In November 2020, Samoa commissioned its Afolau 750 kilowatt biomass gasification plant; a $11.3 million investment hailed as a milestone in the country’s transition to renewable energy.

A company from India, Ankur Scientific Energy Technologies Private Ltd was awarded the contract to set up the biomass plant.

Several local companies, such as Ah Liki Construction and Transworks Ltd, were subcontracted to carry out civil works for the project.

Biomass gasification converts solid fuels such as wood and agricultural residues into gas sources.The project was funded by the Global Environment Facility (G.E.F.) through the United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.). 

The European Union and the Government of Germany’s Government Agency of International Cooperation were also contributing partners. 

The Government agencies charge with the responsibility of the project include the M.N.R.E., the Ministry of Finance, the Electric Power Corporation and Samoa Trust Estate Corporation.

The construction for the plant began in February 2019 and ended February 2020 and was connected to the E.P.C. grid in April last year.

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