On Friday 07 May, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu broke ground at the Brenwe Hydropower Plant (BHP) project site to officially commence construction for the 400kW run-of-river hydropower scheme.
Prime Minister Bob Loughman was joined at the ceremony by Minster for Climate Change who is also responsible for Energy matters, Bruno Leignkon, and other representatives from the Government, including delegates from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, and the Malampa Provincial Government.
“We’ve been working closely with the Vanuatu Project Management Unit (VPMU) and contractor consortium MAP/Vortex to deliver the engineering and procurement construction of the BHP,” said Andrew Bird, Asia Pacific Hydropower and Dam Leader at Stantec. “Even the challenges of Covid-19 couldn’t stop our New Zealand-based team from getting the project ready for this groundbreaking day.”
The BHP, situated in north west Malekula, forms part of the broader Vanuatu Energy Access Project (VEAP): a key initiative in the Government of Vanuatu’s commitment to clean energy.
“Hydropower delivers a long-term solution to the energy issues facing many Pacific Island communities,” continued Mr Bird. “Projects like this provide communities with a clean reliable source of energy by removing their costly reliance on diesel fuel.”
Currently only 33% of the citizens of Vanuatu have access to power. Once complete, the BHP will increase the residential customer base in Malekula by 90%. It’ll also displace an estimated 90% of the diesel energy currently used as a power source for the island.
Working with local consultant Noreve Vanuatu for on-ground delivery, Stantec will continue as design supervision consultant for the project and provide construction monitoring, contract administration and safeguards support to the VPMU.
The Government of Vanuatu and their development partners are committed to clean energy and providing residents across the region with access to energy. The VEAP is funded by the Government of Vanuatu and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support development of least-cost renewable energy and grid extensions. It’s just one of many projects enabling nations to move off expensive and non-renewable diesel as a primary energy source.
Stantec has nearly 100 years of hydropower and dams experience around the world. In the region, the team has extensive project experience including the 44 MW Nadarivatu Hydropower Station on the Island of Viti Levu, Fiji, delivering the concept design for the Warragamba Dam Raise outside of Sydney, Australia, providing reference design for the Somerset Dam Improvement Project outside of Brisbane, Australia, as well as the successful support of multiple projects in Samoa. For more information about Stantec’s projects and expertise in renewable energy visit stantec.com/hydropower.
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