H.E. Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, yesterday inaugurated three small-scale solar energy projects in the South Pacific island nation of Palau. The projects were developed by Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, with funding provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development as part of “Cycle 2” of the US $50 million UAE - South Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-South Pacific Islands Fund).
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah, who personally launched the UAE- South Pacific Islands Fund in 2013, performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the company of officials from the Government of Palau and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and representatives from Masdar as the fund’s executing partner. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah was in Palau for an official diplomatic mission.
Commenting on the inauguration, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, “Three years ago, we launched the UAE-South Pacific Islands Fund to help support countries who share the UAE’s commitment to diversifying their energy mix and advancing sustainable development. Today, I am proud to see that the Fund – bolstered by strong government-to-government cooperation and through Masdar’s effective execution and project management – is fulfilling its mission of supporting countries on their green development journeys.”
His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), said: “In keeping with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership, ADFD is committed to supporting developing countries in meeting their energy needs from renewable resources, which, in turn, will help these countries achieve sustainable development.”
He added: “The renewable energy projects financed by ADFD under the South Pacific Partnership Fund have brought significant social and economic benefits to the beneficiary countries through the generation of electricity for rural areas, supporting the development of local economies as well as the creation of numerous job opportunities for local population. Additionally, these projects have significantly contributed to the mitigation of environment pollution and its harmful impacts on developing economies through the reduction of carbon emissions.”
Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi commented, “We are honoured that H.H. Sheikh Abdullah has inaugurated the three clean energy projects in Palau. His Highness’ has been a leader in the UAE’s forward-leaning approach to sustainable development at home and abroad, as reflected in the establishment of this fund to support developing South Pacific island nations to seize the opportunities of clean energy.”
“As the implementing partner of the UAE- South Pacific Islands Fund, Masdar has successfully delivered innovative renewable energy solutions to 11 South Pacific Island nations. These projects are supporting the South Pacific Islands to advance their national development priorities, including strengthening energy security, expanding energy access and driving economic growth,” Al Ramahi continued.
Palau is a South Pacific island nation consisting of 458 square kilometres of land spread over 200 islands. Working in close collaboration with the government of Palau, Masdar deployed cutomised clean energy projects on Peleliu, Angaur, and Koror, three of the archipelago’s more densely populated islands.
In keeping with the innovative spirit of the UAE- South Pacific Islands Fund, each project features elements that meet the unique needs of the local communities.In Peleliu, the Masdar-developed 100 kW solar PV diesel hybrid plant features an advanced centralised control system that allows up to 90 per cent of power needs to be met by solar energy during peak time.
Meanwhile, the 100 kW solar PV diesel hybrid project in Angaur powers a water treatment facility capable of supplying 200 m3 of clean water per day. As the first project in the UAE- South Pacific Islands Fund that incorporates a water supply element, the Angaur project reflects the inextricable link between water and energy security.
In Koror, Masdar delivered 100 1.7 kW individual solar home systems. Instead of delivering the systems directly to end users, Masdar provided the solar home systems to the National Development Bank of Palau, which offered loans to citizens for the instillation of the system, thereby incentivising end users to actively participate in the upkeep and maintenance of the systems.
The US$ 50 million UAE-South Pacific Partnership Fund was launched in March 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayhan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and is managed by Masdar, in close coordination with the Ministry and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The fund covers project feasibility studies, engineering design, plant equipment supplies and installation, construction and operation and maintenance training.
Today’s inauguration in Palau follows closely on the heels of the inauguration of a 1 MW PV plant in Solomon Islands on May 10. Three additional inaugurations of clean energy solutions that make up “Cycle 2” of the UAE- South Pacific Islands Fund will be held in the coming days.