His Excellency Mr. Tetsuya Ishii, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga attended the ceremony along with Hon. Semisi Sika, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga and several more Cabinet Ministers. Present also at the ceremony were both a High Commissioner and an Ambassador, Nobles of the Realm, Rev. Dr. ‘Ahio, Royal Chaplain and President of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, Mr. Shinji Yoshiura, JICA-Tonga Resident Representative, Contractors of the JV Nishizawa Limited and the NBK Corporation and over 100 notable invited guests.
In addressing the occasion, Ambassador Ishii noted that the ceremony marked the beginning of the work to transform the site into a 1.3Mega Watt wind energy power source for the people of Tonga. “This Wind Power Generation System will be Japan’s first-ever Wind Power Generation Project under our grant aid scheme, and it is Japan’s second major project in the field of renewable energy in Tonga, following the Solar Generation Facility commissioned in 2015.This System is expected to cover about 8 percent of electricity supply in Tonga, and together with the Solar Generation, it will accelerate the achievement of your target, to reform 50 percent of Tonga’s power supply system into renewable energy by 2020,” said the Ambassador.
The Project is worth approximately two billion and one hundred million Japanese Yen, JPY equivalent to over forty million pa’anga (TOP$40,000,000) and consists of two important components; 5 unique and tiltable 275kW windmills at 38 meter high and the Grid Stabilization System.
Mr. Setitaia Chen, CEO of the Tonga Power Limited said “this kind generosity of the Government of Japan through JICA has contributed to our goal of reaching 50% renewable energy by way of Solar and now soon to be Wind.” He added that the contractors have already commenced foundation work for the Project and that the wind technology chosen have been tested to safely withstand up to a category 5 cyclone.
Hon. Saia Ma’u Piukala, Minister of Public Enterprises, on behalf of the people and the Government of Tonga highly appropriated the people and Government of Japan for the significant assistance, in funding the first-ever Wind Power Generation Project for the Kingdom.
The groundbreaking ceremony was performed following a traditional Japanese style, called the “Kuwaire Shiki.”
For further information on the project, please click the above.