ABU DHABI, September 27, 2020 (WAM) – The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Partnership Fund has announced the start of construction of a clean, hurricane-resistant power plant in Antigua and Barbuda to help the twin nation to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
The $ 50 million Fund, the largest investment of its kind in renewable energy in the region, is the result of a partnership between the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and Abu Dhabi. Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).
Sultan Al Shamsi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs at MoFAIC, said: “Since its founding as a nation, the UAE has viewed aid to underserved areas as an element most of their foreign aid. With the signing of these EPC Agreements, the UAE is facilitating efforts to realize UAE Foreign Aid Policy 2021 to promote global peace and prosperity. Today, this achievement will help build a more sustainable future and meet the needs of residents of Antigua and Barbuda. We enthusiastically view the impact that such projects will have on the achievement of the SDGs and the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, especially women and youth.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of ADFD, said: “This investment is not only transforming the lives of the people of Antigua and Barbuda through income-generating activities and providing a clean source of energy, reliable, profitable and sustainable, it supports ADFD’s continued mission to invest in renewable energy projects to stimulate sustainable economic growth in developing countries and unlock their potential. This initiative has a positive impact not only on these developing countries, but also on the economic diversification of the United Arab Emirates, and it is an opportunity to deploy UAE expertise internationally. As the world faces an economic recession from the impact of the coronavirus, investments like this help pave the way for recovery nationally and in partner countries. “
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “The completion of this complex engineering project will give a welcome boost to Antigua and Barbuda’s economy in these difficult times and help the country achieve its sustainable development goals. The Green Barbuda project will demonstrate the role of renewable energies in accelerating economic growth and delivering tangible benefits to local communities, such as reducing their dependence on expensive fossil fuels, creating jobs and securing local communities. skills and capacity building. Above all, it highlights the commitment of several nations to support a common goal – to provide humanitarian aid to the less fortunate and to create a better world for all. “
Sir Robin Yearwood, Minister responsible for the energy portfolio in Antigua and Barbuda, said: “This project will provide an opportunity to develop Barbuda’s vast solar energy resources in a way that supports sustainable socio-economic development”, said. “The Green Barbuda Project demonstrated the commitment of the government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda and New Zealand, as well as the CDF, to advancing climate resilient energy initiatives. This innovative project provides a model for other islands and communities as they approach in an integrated way the need to develop their renewable energy resources in the context of the global climate crisis.
The Green Barbuda Project is developed with joint funding from the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand and the Caribbean Development Group Fund, and implemented by Masdar. Site preparation, network impact assessment and geotechnical studies have been completed for the project, which will support Antigua and Barbuda’s efforts to sustainably recover and help create new jobs. .
Masdar is leading the design and implementation of the project, which, when completed, will contribute to Antigua and Barbuda’s goal of producing 15% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. The project will include the construction of an 800 kW diesel power plant. and a 720 kWh hybrid solar power plant, as well as an 863 kWh battery system to store the excess electricity produced.
The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Partnership Fund aims to establish projects in 16 Caribbean countries over three funding cycles to help reduce energy costs, save more and improve their resilience to climate conditions. Clean energy projects were inaugurated in the Bahamas, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in March 2019.