NZ-funded project benefits 55 Tongatapu villages

The Tonga Village Network Project that is funded by New Zealand has been completed three months ahead of scheduled.

The goal of the NZ$30.7 million network upgrade project is to provide a modern and resilient electricity network, which would deliver reliable and safe electricity to households in rural Tongatapu.

New Zealand High Commissioner, Tiffany Babington and Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) Minister, Poasi Tei marked the conclusion of the project a week ago.

The villages have been benefiting from the project since 2011.

Network faults decreased significantly and of the 11,450 upgraded connections, over 2,500 connections were to households with no previous access to electricity.

The Government of Tonga benefited from the Tongatapu Village Network Upgrade Project through increased network efficiency, reduced diesel consumption and the associated reduction in the cost of diesel imports. The upgraded network also proved more resilient to extreme weather conditions, following Cyclone Gita earlier this year, with less damage in villages upgraded.

The closing ceremony was hosted by Tonga Power Limited and held at Tupou College, the final community to receive benefits from the upgrade in rural Tongatapu.