On the 29th of May 2014 marks another milestone in SIEA’s history as it signs a major EPO contract with MAN Diesel and Turbo to carry out the construction of a new Power Station at the Lungga Complex. The new power station will be furnished with four new 2.5MW MAN generator sets with provisions for two more generators in the future. As this is an EPC contract, MAN Diesel and Turbo will design the installation, manufacture and procure the necessary machines and auxiliary equipment and build the project.
The Managing Director of the Australian based company, Mr. Larry Silva is in country to sign the contract. Mr. Adrian Wickham, the Chairman of the SIEA Board of Directors, said, “This is the first significant capital expenditure in the last 20 years.” This Project is expected to cost SBD$129 Million, and it will be fully funded by SIEA through the use of bank loans from Westpac Bank and Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (NPF). “This is a major milestone as SIEA has moved away from dependency on Donor Funding,” Mr. Wickham stated. Work is expected to begin this year and the generators are expected to be commissioned and put into operation by the middle of 2015.
The project has been approved by the Minister of Finance and Treasury. When the work is completed and the new Generators are installed, it will increase the capacity and reliability of the power generated and distributed in Honiara.
Mr. Norman Nicholls, SIEA’s General Manager, said, “Capacity will be increased by 10MW which will bring the total capacity to 28MW. This means that SIEA will finally be able to achieve G-2 capacity.” G-2 (Generation minus Two) is an engineering term that refers to the state where power generated is still able to meet the demand even when two generators are out of service for maintenance or overhaul. This means that load shedding because of generation capacity and demand will be a thing of the past.
This is one of the many capital investments SIEA is carrying out in order to improve its service delivery to the public and aid in the economic development of our nation, the Solomon Islands.