20 Mar 2017

Samoa's PM calls on villages to support more hydro electricity plants

7:44 am on 20 March 2017

Samoa's prime minister is calling on villages with water resources to support the development of more hydro electricity plants.

Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for a multi-million dollar hydro project in Fuluasou on Friday.

That project would see a plant with a preliminary capacity of 0.68 megawatts built on Upolu, which was hoped to save the country about 3.6 million litres of diesel a year.

With 60 percent of its energy coming from diesel generators, Tuila'epa said Samoa needs to reduce its dependence on imported fuel.

New Zealand funded part of the project and its foreign minister, Murray McCully, who was at the start of construction on Friday, said the savings frees up resources for other needs.

"[the] shift to renewable energy is something that I've been very pleased to be a part of."

"There are other challenges today, the opportunities in your tourism industry but the challenges of making sure that it develops. These areas where New Zealand's partnership is important," Mr McCully said.

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Photo: Mei Heron