Solomon Islands hydro scheme plans go to government in September


The four-year feasibility study on Solomon Islands’ Tina River hydro dam project on Guadalcanal Island is nearing completion and a final report will go to government in September this year.

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Locals watch testing on the Tina River. Credit: World Bank

Geological investigations revealed weak bed rock on the proposed site, forcing engineers to move the dam site 800 metres upstream. They’re now awaiting World Bank specialists to approve the revised plans before they go to government, but the bank has told project managers they are still supporting the scheme.

Talks are also underway to secure about 13,200 hectares of customary land for the project, before the tender is let.

Construction of the US$100 million dam is now expected to begin in 2015.

Energy officials have said they expect electricity prices to fall by half once the project is up and running, and blackouts will be a thing of the past. The proposed 14MW station will reduce the country’s dependence on imported diesel fuel, providing around 50% of Guadalcanal’s power needs.

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