The Pacific Island countries to be supported by the new fund include the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
These countries face developmental issues such as small populations, limited resources, remoteness and vulnerability to natural disasters.
The facility will receive a cumulative financing of up to $200m from the ADB. The bank will also seek additional cofinancing for the facility, which will be streamline ADB internal procedures to improve its ability to speed up processing of small value projects in the target countries with reduced transaction costs.
The facility will help the island countries in their transformation from diesel-based power system to sustainable renewable energy generation sources.
The new facility is expected to offer financing to renewable projects such as solar power, wind power, hydropower and grid rehabilitation. Projects in the Cook Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu will be the first to be supported by the new facility.
Besides, the facility will support regional approaches for energy sector reform, private sector development, and capacity building.
ADB Pacific Department principal energy specialist Anthony Maxwell said: “ADB is rapidly expanding our financing for renewable energy in the Pacific and have a strong portfolio of 13 renewable energy projects in 9 of the targeted 11 small Pacific economies over the next 3 years.
“The Facility was developed to respond to the growing demand from the region and will provide innovative financing mechanisms and upscale support for the countries’ sector reform programs. This is the first time ADB has developed such a facility in the Pacific.”
Photo: Courtesy of Asian Development Bank