The Tafitoala and Fausaga small hydropower plant has been officially commissioned in Samoa, in a ceremony attended by the country’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao.

The Tafitoala and Fausaga plant is part of the Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project that is adding 3.3MW of new hydropower to the grid and rehabilitating small hydro plants damaged by Cyclone Evan in 2012.

Nakao and Malielegaoi met yesterday to examine opportunities for expanded collaboration and sign an agreement establishing a permanent ADB office in Samoa. Nakao also met Minister for Finance and ADB Governor Sili Epa Tuioti during his first official visit to Samoa.

“Samoa is a founding member of ADB since 1966 and we have worked in close partnership to address development challenges and create new opportunities in this country,” said Mr. Nakao. “ADB is increasing its support to Samoa and we are committed to helping the government continue to improve access to renewable energy, extend ICT connectivity, and strengthen public sector management.”

ADB has supported development of Samoa’s energy sector since the early 1990s. Projects cofinanced with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the European Union have installed almost two-thirds of the country’s current generation capacity of 45MW. ADB, Australia, and the World Bank supported the development and operation of a submarine cable fiber-optic system linking Samoa to Fiji. The Tui Samoa cable, launched in February 2018, will provide cost-effective internet connectivity and facilitate e-health investment.

ADB has committed $358 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance to Samoa since 1966 to support the government’s development priorities. Of this funding, $287 million was from the Asian Development Fund (ADF), which provides concessional financing to ADB's lower-income developing member countries. Given Samoa’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, ADF financing terms were changed to 100% grant in January 2018.

Future support will continue to focus on economic infrastructure such as power, roads, and ports, as well as public sector management. Total financing from ADF for Samoa, including resources mobilized from ADF funds allocated for regional initiatives, could reach $100 million in 2019-2020. In addition, ADB will mobilize cofinancing from development partners such as Australia, New Zealand, the Green Climate Fund, and the World Bank.