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More than 50 villages benefit from the Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project funded by New Zealand

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 13/09/2018

The Newly appointed CEO of Tonga Power Limited has confirmed that the power network of 55 villages in Tongatapu have been upgraded and secured under the Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project.

The $ NZD 30.7m project was funded by the New Zealand Government with the aimed to provide a modern and resilient electricity network, which would deliver reliable and safe electricity to households in rural areas in Tongatapu.

Seti Chen says The Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project has been seen significant improvement in these villages.

“The benefits of this project, basically if you travel to all of our outer program villages in Tongatapu you will see the upgrades and its benefits and its contributions not just the people and the customers but also the safety around our network. Eight years ago the status of the network was at very unsafe and also the main parts, the choosing of the villages this project funding starts with, looking at the safety aspects and the line loss and its benefits for the people of Tonga, and now we have been completed,” he said.

He adds New Zealand has agreed for a grant of $NZD11m for the upgrade of Nuku’alofa’s electricity network.

The grant will directly benefit over 2,000 households and businesses in 12 villages in Kolomotu’a and Kolofo’ou, the first stage of the five-year Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project.

“One of the key important of the Tonga Village Network Upgrade Project is to acknowledge that this is the first project that has undertaken from the network upgrade perspective in the last 30 years and stage one basically gave the confidence to continue on undertaking stage two and three and not just the stage two or three of the Tonga Village Network Upgrade but at the same time we look at the outer islands for ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u,” he said.

The multi-million dollar project represents the largest component of New Zealand’s development assistance to Tonga and its biggest investment in Tonga’s energy sector and in the Pacific.

New Zealand has confirmed their continuing support to Tonga to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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