The Governments of New Zealand and Samoa, the Asian Development Bank and the European Union are combining to further develop hydro-electric power in Samoa.
A ceremony today turned the first sod for the construction of the Fuluasou hydropower plant which has a preliminary capacity of 0.68 megawatts.
One of the project's targets is to save about 3.6 million litres of diesel per year, with clean power replacing diesel generated power.
Samoa Prime Minister Tu'ilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said lowering Samoa's reliance on fossil fuels will help free up resources for other priority needs while improving national energy security and sustainability.
Samoa currently generates 60 percent of its energy from diesel generators, with total fuel imports amounting to 95 million litres in 2012.
For the Fuluasou development, the EU is providing a $US5.06 million grant, New Zealand a grant of $US2.49 million and the Government of Samoa is putting in $US5.63 million.