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Significant renewable energy project in Kiribati

5 June 2018

Infratec has celebrated the completion of the Kiritimati Island Energy Sector Programme with an official launch, attended by Republic of Kiribati government Ministers, the EU Delegation for the Pacific, the New Zealand High Commission in Tarawa, and community leaders.

The Kiritimati Island Energy Sector Programme, funded by the EU Development Fund and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, included the building of two new powerstations, 30km of HV network and a 150kWp solar PV plant.The project was delivered by Infratec, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NETcon Limited, working with others including ITP Renewables, Independent Lines Services, Stantec New Zealand, CBS, and private consultants.

Infratec has installed sustainable renewable energy systems around the world from Afghanistan to Tuvalu and New Zealand. Infratec project manager Paul Bowler says that Kiritimati had three population centres, with each operating on their own aging generator.

“This project centralised the power system for Kiritimati, providing a more reliable, efficient and safe electricity supply for the island. The 150kW solar system will reduce the island’s demand on expensive diesel.”

A significant project highlight was the installation of 66 street lights, the first time the island had street lighting in 40 years. Infratec’s approach reduces reliance and dependency on external short-term “expat” resources and empowers the islands to manage their power supply.

“Our work with the local island communities is a crucial aspect to the success of the project.”
The project, from design to completion, took about 16 months.

Kiritimati Island, in Kiribati’s Line Islands group, is the world’s largest coral atoll and the largest of the 33 islands in the Republic of Kiribati. The island is approximately 3,300 km east of Kiribati’s capital, Tarawa.