President of Nauru Baron Waqa, who gave a keynote speech, led the ribbon cutting and the switching on of the generators in a ceremony in Yaren.
“The Government of Nauru appreciates the support of its donor partners, the ADB, European Union, and the Australian government in cofinancing this important project,” said President Waqa. “Nauru Utilities Corporation (NUC) is to be congratulated on the successful implementation of this project together with Jacob Engineering and Sterling & Wilson Co Gen Pty Ltd of India.”
The Nauru Electricity Supply Security and Sustainability Project, approved in 2014, was initially funded by a $2 million grant from ADB and a €2 million grant ($2.4 million) from the EU. It involved the installation of a new, efficient medium-speed 2.6-3 megawatt (MW) diesel generator and repairs to the powerhouse roof.
The additional AU$6.4 million ($5 million) from the Government of Australia and the AU$4.1 million from the Government of Nauru helped fund the installation of the second new medium-speed 2.6-3.0 MW diesel generator which improved the efficiency, safety, and capacity of electricity supply in Nauru.
“Upgrading the electricity network in Nauru will reduce the frequency of power outages to community members, hospitals, schools, business, and government offices, as well as expanding water desalination capability for the island,” said Angela Tierney, Australia’s High Commissioner to Nauru. “Australia is delighted to support this project, which provides reliable baseload capacity to Nauru for the first time. The new generators will create a more stable power platform for Nauru and support stronger sustainable development planning.”
“The power supply in Nauru was very unreliable and NUC had limited capacity to meet electricity demand in Nauru,” said Emma Fan, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Australia. “We are grateful to the European Union and the Australian government for cofinancing the new generators alongside ADB. This project will boost the electricity supply in the country and ensure energy is available to the people of Nauru at a more affordable price.”
''Safe, reliable, and efficient electricity supply is crucial for the sustainable development of Nauru, its economy and businesses. The EU is proud to have partnered with the Australian government and ADB to provide the people of Nauru safe, reliable, and efficient energy supply. This will no doubt help in raising living standards for the people of Nauru and make key services such health and education more accessible,'' said Adrian Nicolae, Head of Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Section at the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific.
Before the project, the supply of electricity in Nauru was unreliable and the cost of power generation was high, due to the poor condition and inefficiency of NUC’s generators. Nauru’s dilapidated power station also posed safety concerns and jeopardized the electricity supply.
Nauru’s economy will benefit from the improved electricity service and efficiency of operations at NUC, Nauru's only power utility.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region.