Samoa names Australia consultant to plan expansion of 4-MW Afulilo

Samoa’s Ministry of Finance has named SMEC International Pty Ltd. of Australia to develop a plan to augment the capacity of Samoa’s 4-MW Afulilo hydroelectric project.

SMEC received a US$1 million contract to prepare the Afulilo Environmental Enhancement Project. ADB solicited consultants in 2008. (HNN 6/16/08)

The government requested US$1.9 million in technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to enhance the sustainability of the Afulilo project. It is part of a proposed country partnership strategy for Samoa from 2008-2012. ADB has been helping Samoa develop a national energy policy with a focus on renewable energy.

The project includes a two-phase approach, with the first phase to include:
o Examination and recommendations for addressing environmental and social issues of the existing project;
o Assessment of dam safety, including a dam break assessment and registration of the project with the International Commission on Large Dams;
o Assessment of management practices and recommendation of options of optimizing hydropower output; and
o Assessment of least-cost options for augmentation of the capacity of the Afulilo hydro project.

The second phase is to include:
o Preparation of land acquisition and a resettlement plan and social analysis;
o Initial environmental analysis;
o Confirmation of technical design and detailed cost estimates, and bid documentation;
o Assessment of eligibility for the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program and preparation of CDM design documents; and
o Financial and economic due diligence of the project and the financial performance of Samoa’s Electric Power Corp.

An ADB project to augment Afulilo was canceled in 2005 due to significant cost increases due to implementation delays and technical issues. That project was to raise the dam crest and to add a third 2-MW turbine-generator. However, the bank said, the project remains highly relevant for reducing Samoa’s dependence on fuel imports.

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