Nuku’alofa – July 27, 2022: 9.10am (Nuku’alofa Times): Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Donald Mortimore, and First Secretary Development, Ms. Shelly Thomson, yesterday were on hand to pass on more assistance to Tonga Power Limited.
They met Acting CEO of Tonga Power Limited Mr. Finau Moa and Chairman of Utilities Board, Mr. Tapu Panuve to hand over a donation of power supplies worth over AUD$290,000.
This donation is part of Australia’s continued commitment to Tonga’s response and recovery from the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption and tsunami on 15 January 2022. This energy sector donation from Australia, totalling AUD $800,000, includes essential power supplies and equipment, mixed consumables, and power poles. The remaining $500,000 which includes eight transformers, and a large–scale baseload generator will arrive in Tonga at the end of August.
In the aftermath of the eruption and tsunami, Australia also transferred 20,000L of diesel from HMAS Canberra to enable continued supply of power on ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u.
During her speech, Australian First Secretary, Shelly Thomson, commended Tonga Power Limited management, staff and implementing partners for their remarkable leadership and hard work post– disaster.
She also emphasised the importance of power to the people of Tonga and the essential services.
“When Tonga Power Limited employees had their own families to care for and their own homes to clean and fix, they were working immediately to assess the damage; clean the network
infrastructure to protect what they could and minimize the damage; and working tirelessly to repair the network and retore power to the families and communities of Tonga.”
“I wish to acknowledge the work of Tonga Power Limited employees and their partners, who through their hard work and long hours, were able to fully restore power to the people of Tongatapu
only six days later by Friday 21st January,” said Shelly.
Australia continues to support Tonga to strengthen the reliability and resilience of the electricity network, and Tonga’s renewable energy goals through ongoing investments, such as:
– AUD $9.5 million to the Outer Island Renewable Energy Project (OIREP), which is upgrading networks in ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u and building solar power capacity on and off grid in nine outer– islands;
– AUD $3.5 million to the Tonga Renewable Energy Project (TREP) to expand access to clean, resilient and affordable energy for Tongans; and
– AUD $5.3 million towards Area 3 of the Nuku’alofa Network Upgrade Project (NNUP)
It is these long–term partnerships, along with emergency supply donations, which support the Government of Tonga and TPL’s ongoing work to ensure that Tonga’s power network grows in resilience