Port Vila, 22 June 2021. The Vanuatu and Utilities Infrastructure Limited (VUI) has handed over a cheque of VT8,374,613 Million to the Vanuatu Government facilitated and witnessed by officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Climate Change on June 22nd, 2021.

The handing over occasion of this first ever concessional fee payment, a first of its kind under electricity concession agreements that the government had entered into, was made at the Ministry of Finance between the Minister of Finance, Hon. Johnny Koanapo Raso and the General Manager of the Vanuatu Utilities Infrastructure LTD (VUI), Peter Allen.

According to the Concessional Deed agreement between the Vanuatu Government and VUI, Article 5, Clause 5.1 states that “the Concessionaire must pay the grantor a fee comprising two percent (2%) from its Audit annual gross operating revenue for the year earned. The 2% payment is for the year 2020 financial year since VUI entered into the concession agreement with the Government of Vanuatu in June 19th, 2019.

In his remarks, Hon Johnny Koanapo stated that Vanuatu government has acknowledged VUI for honoring its obligations under the agreement and also for intervening post TC Harold in restoring the power supply in Luganville.

“It was not an easy period for the government as one of the main concerns at that time was the continuous supply of electricity to people particularly Santo to enable policies and activities planned by the government to continue and VUI has played an important role then,” he said.

In response, Mr Allen reiterated that in the last 10 years of VUI’s tenure they have continued to work together with the Department of Energy and the Utilities Regulatory Authority (URA) to connect people with electricity especially on the islands of Santo, Ambae, Maewo and Vanua Lava.

“We have three stations on Ambae, a hydro station in Maewo and two diesel stations up in Vanua Lava-As part of the new concession that’s why we had to take those on, we recently hook up 161 customers on Maewo since the establishment of Talise hydro power” he said.

Mr Allen said that the year 2020 was a tough year for the company but as part of the concession it’s their responsibility to pay the fee to the government. VUI continues to add customers on the three islands and they are installing solar unit out into the areas that do not have grids.

In the Council of Ministers decision 101 on the allocation of the Luganville Concession fee, it has endorsed that the sharing of the 2% fee will constitute: i) 50% for the Vanuatu government through the Ministry of Finance; ii) 10% contribution to the Luganville Municipal Council; iii) 15% to the Sanma Provincial Government Council; and iv) 25% to the National Green Energy Fund.

The MFEM on behalf of the Vanuatu Government will facilitate the sharing of the concessional fee to its beneficiaries.

Minister of Finance, Hon Johnny Koanapo Raso (l) receives cheque from VUI’s General Manager, Peter Allen (r). Photo: Department of Energy
Minister of Finance, Hon Johnny Koanapo Raso (l) receives cheque from VUI’s General Manager, Peter Allen (r). Photo: Department of Energy