MANILA, PHILIPPINES (20 December 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Marshall Islands (RMI) today signed agreements for a $7 million grant to support the Marshalls Energy Company (MEC) improve its performance to enhance the disaster resilience of RMI’s energy network and to prepare for a shift to renewables.
The agreements, part of the RMI Energy Security Project, were signed by ADB Executive Director Noor Ahmed, acting on behalf of the RMI, and ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez.
The grant provides additional funding for the project, a $12.7 million-initiative approved in 2018, to rehabilitate the fuel storage tanks and associated infrastructure on Majuro Atoll to improve the RMI’s energy security. The electricity grid will be improved and MEC staff will receive training for future renewable energy upgrades.
“The reliability of Majuro’s electricity grid needs to be improved to keep the lights on and to better manage the transition to renewable energy. The additional financing will help us towards that goal,” said Minister of Finance, Banking, and Postal Services Brenson S. Wase.
“The additional financing signed today will allow the Government of the Marshall Islands and the MEC to strengthen efforts to implement an agreed multiyear action plan to support MEC’s performance,” said ADB Principal Energy Specialist Len George.
The RMI has announced a 2030 energy road map for the development of renewable energy in the country. The grant announced today, along with other ADB support, is an important prerequisite for the introduction and scaling up of renewables including by other development partners.
ADB’s funding is drawn from its Pacific Renewable Energy Investment Facility, which finances renewable energy projects in 11 smaller Pacific island countries. The government has contributed $700,000 to the project.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.