The Talise Hydro Power project phase II on the island of Maewo was officially launched and handed-over to the government of Vanuatu by the contractor, Pelena Energy on July 16th, 2019.

Talise Hydro project started operations in 2011 though the ground works started earlier when the funding was made available by the Vanuatu government in 2008.

The Minister of Climate Change and Adaptation, Ham Lini stated that the launching of the Talise hydro second phase was according to the Vanuatu government’s National Sustainable Development Plan or ‘Peoples Plan’, that aims to increase the use of electricity generated out of Vanuatu’s renewable resources such hydro, solar and others that is accessible, reliable and affordable for the population of Vanuatu.

 “This target is also set out in the Department of Energy’s policy, National Energy Road Map 2030 (NERM) to make sure that energy or electricity is accessible, affordable, sustainable, secure, reliable and green growth” he said.

“The government through the NERM 2030, aims to achieve 100 per cent access to electricity by year 2030 for the population of this country produced by our natural resources.”

Mr Lini also stated that in May 2015, the Council of Ministers (CoM) decision 57/2015 agreed on the following decisions regarding the Talise project Phase 2:

“The progress of Talise Hydro development, Approval of Vanuatu Government funding of the transmission line, provide direction to the Department of Energy to look at options of governance and sustainability of the project to make sure it is sustainable in the future and encourage primary sectors that are involved in income generating activity to make use of the hydro power,” he said.

“The Australian Aid and the International Union Conservation of Nature that is funded by Italian, Austrian and Spanish Aid provided additional financial support to the Vanuatu government to realise the CoM decision 57/2015 for the phase II of the Talise project.”

At the end of 2016, the CoM endorsed the Central Tenders Board decision to award Pelena Energy Australia to carry out phase II of Talise project in designing and construction of hydro transmission lines.

The Government through the Ministry of Climate Change that oversees the energy development in the country also targets long term sustainability model for the Talise hydro and other electricity mini-grid in the future.

Mr Lini reiterated that in November 2016, CoM decision 214 was to integrate mini-grids such as Saratamata (Ambae), Sola (Banks) and Talise (Maewo) with the Luganville electricity concession contract.

“The government has awarded the Luganville electricity concession to the Vanuatu Utilities Infrastructure as the winning bidder,” he said.

“In the Luganville concession contract, VUI is responsible for the operation and management of government hydroelectricity equipment in Talise, Narovorovo and Nasawa.

“VUI is a registered company to provide electricity service in the country as stated in the contract and that allows the Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) to be able to enforce electricity regulations stated in the URA Act on the company.

The second phase accommodates a 7km transmission network from the generating station in Talise through Narovoro and Nasawa Village. A big thank you to Pelena Energy for making it possible to Electrify a few public institutions under this phase. These includes; Sulua school, Nasawa Community Hall, Nasawa Primary school and Nasawa Health Centre.

The Distribution network and household connection for the three communities is the last outstanding phase yet to be implemented to successfully complete the Talise Micro Hydro Project.

On behalf of the Vanuatu government, Mr Lini acknowledged the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Italian Austrian and Spanish Aid and the Australian government through the Governance for Growth (GfG) program for their financial support towards the Talise project and the contractor, Pelena Energy for their technical support in the designing and constructing of the Talise hydro project. Further acknowledgement, was conveyed to the communities of Tam, Talise, Narovorovo and Nasawa, through the Talise Hydro Management Committee, for their dedicated commitment to the project, providing human resources for maintaining the hydro since phase I and for construction in phase II.