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Officials break ground on Samoa's 700-kW Fuluasou small hydropower plant

   ---Officials from New Zealand, Samoa, the Asian Development Bank and European Union have broken ground on the 700-kW Fuluasou hydroelctric plant in Samoa.

   Speaking at a ceremony near Apia, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said the small hydro project is part of the Polynesian island's effort to reduce its dependence on diesel generated power.

   More than 60% of Samoa's energy is currently produced with diesel, according to ADB data, with fuel costing about 10% of the country's gross domestic product every year.

   "Lowering Samoa's reliance on fossil fuels will help free up resources for other priority needs while improving national energy security and sustainability," Malielegaoi said.

   The Samoan government is footing the majority of Fuluasou's costs with a $5.63 million investment, though the EU is adding a $5.06 million grant and New Zealand a $2.49 million grant.(2017-04-06)




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