Cooperation Project of the Italian Government coordinated by Kiribati – Italy Renewable Energy Programme (KIIREP)

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 The Government of Kiribati is benefiting from the Italian Government funding under this cooperation. As a matter of goodwill, the Government established Kiribati – Italy Renewable Energy Project (KIIREP) in early 2008 to guide the project's proposal and execute approved funded projects from Italy. The KIIREP comprises of senior officials from stakeholder ministries and chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE) while the Energy Planning Unit (EPU) acts as the technical arm of the KIIREP responsible for developing proposals and project management.

The Energy Planner is the KIIREP Proponent and provide technical advice and develop project proposals to Italy Ministry for Environment, Land, and Sea (IMELS) and Italy Embassy in New York. Other responsibilities of the Proponent include project coordination, monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and advising KIIREP and the IMELS on the project progress and request transfer of project tranche funds. 

Currently out of the 8 funded projects implemented in Kiribati under this Cooperation Project and overlooked by the KIIREP Committee, 7 projects are funded by the Government of Italy.

  1. Wind Assessment for Kiritimati Island: Italy
  2. Renewable Energy System for Solar Pumping in Rural Communities: Italy
  3. Biofuel production and refining development at KCMCL: Italy
  4. PV Hybrid Mini-Grid for Chevalier College: Italy
  5. Low Carbon Electricity system for Social-economic development at Christian Community Leaders Community (CCL), Manoku. Luxembourg/IUCN
  6. PV Solar Off-Grid for Fish Centers Outer Islands – Phase 1: Italy
  7. PV Solar Off-Grid for Fish Centers Outer Islands – Phase 2: Italy
  8. Sustainable Water Supply Systems for Vulnerable Rural Communities: Italy

The Government of Italy under this regional grant Programme provides financial support for the development of renewable energy projects Kiribati. Initially, the funding was directly transferred from IMELS to the created KIIREP Special Account within the ANZ Bank of Kiribati. The EPU coordinates and manage the project technical components while the MISE Accounts manage and audit the project account in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. 

In the new Government administration, all donor project funds are now required to be overlooked and monitored by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED). In alignment to this policy, the newly approved projects at JC11 in 2017 and JC12 in 2018 projects tranche funds are now channeled through the Government Account No.4. In addition, MFED is now consolidation the KIIREP Special Account balance and to transfer the remaining balance to the prescribed Government Account.


Project status:

  1. Wind resource assessment for Kiribati Island - USD$105,000.

The project objective is to carry out the feasibility study on the wind regime in Kiritimati for utilization as another renewable energy source.

There were 2 wind masts elected in London and Banana villages respectively for data collection started in September 2009 and completed in February 2012. In June 2012 a technical consultant Mr. GL Garrad Hassan was engaged by EPU to conduct a feasibility study to identify the appropriate type of wind turbine, verify if existing monitoring equipment is sufficient, improve data for accurate analyses works, estimate equipment, and installation costs and identify the requirement for technical personnel to operate and maintain the wind turbine. 

In the feasibility study report produced by Mr. Hassan, the results determined that wind energy is feasible in Kiritimati Island with an average wind speed of 7.5 m/s. 

The project outcome identified the wind turbine specification suitable and appropriate for Kiritimati Island to generate power. To move forward the project, it was recommended to develop a detailed work-plan for Kiritimati renewable energy development that includes wind energy to finally realize the outcome of the study.  

The project budget received is USD105,000 converted to AUD130,842.25. In the final report after completion of the project, the balance is AUD11,895.03 as of 31st May 2016.

  1. Renewable Energy System for Solar Pumping in Rural Communities: USD 141,000.

The project objective is to ensure that boarding secondary schools in the outer islands have access to sustainable water supply and reticulation networks in the community. 

This project was implemented in all the 8 rural boarding schools in the Gilbert group of islands. (Hiram Beigham High School in Beru; In Abemama covers Alfred Sadd Memorial School, Seventh Day Adventist School Kauma, Chevalier College; In Abaiang includes Saint Joseph College Tabwiroa and Stephen Whitme High School Morikao; Teabike College in Tabiteuea North and George Eastman High School in Nonouti. The project was concluded in October 2013.

These rural schools benefited a lot from this project as water is ready available for student and staff families from the water reticulation, and physical labour in carrying water from distant water wells for student and women is completely eliminated.  In the water supply, no operational cost is needed as the pump utilizes solar PV system for the daily water pumping to the overhead tank supplying the water reticulation in the community. 

Currently, all of the 8 water pumping systems are still operating perfectly without any technical failures up to now. The recipient communities are responsible for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the systems and MISE is ready to assist if needed.   

Overall the key outputs of the Project were achieved despite the financial issues experienced on the 2nd tranche due to the weakening of the US currency. Furthermore, KAPII fund the project for the Immaculate Heart College in North Tarawa.

The 1st tranche fund deposited in August 2010 of USD 71,000 was converted to AUD106,958. On the 5th of January 2011, the 2nd tranche fund of USD $70,000.00 was transferred equivalent to AUD 68,620.00 due to drop in the USD currency exchange. Support from the SPREP through Pacific Islands Greenhouse Gases Abatement Project (PIGGAREP) of USD $22,526.00 was utilized to fund the awareness and training components. The project balance after conclusion was AUD564.97 as of 31st May 2016.

  1. Biofuel production and refining development at KCMCL: USD170,000

The aim of the project is to demonstrate the production and utilization of standardized coconut oil biodiesel for the transport sector and power generation to address the national fuel security with issues over imported fuel costs and supply. 

The project was implemented in 2010 delivering the following activities, study tours to biodiesel industries and suppliers in the region visiting NIU Industries, consulting SOPAC on the lab equipment, biofuel site plan and design, purchasing and installation of bio-fuel equipment’s (processing plant, commissioning and training), construction of small laboratory office, public awareness campaign and promotion, processing of biofuel and demonstration and capacity building trainings. 

This project was initially implemented by the Kiribati Copra Mill Company (KCMC). The issue with the long delay during the implementation in the first stages has forced the Committee to reach the decision of withdrawing the project from KCMC and handing it over to EPU.  The issue is from KCMC Board not supporting the continuation due to the limited income in selling the produced biodiesel as compared to the income from selling the coconut oil to overseas market.  Furthermore, the raised copra price nationally translates to the higher cost of the produced biodiesel to conventional diesel fuel constraining the biodiesel business. The feasibility study will be required now to progress biodiesel development plan. 

The 1st tranche of USD85,000.00 was transferred converted to had already paid to the Government of Kiribati to support the implementation of phase one activities including establishment of the Project management, consultation and public awareness works, Biofuel plants site visits, purchased of appropriate size of Biofuel plant and equipment and facility. 


EPU compiled the midterm report and submitted to IMELS in November 2014. After approval the 2nd tranche of USD85,000.00 converted to AUD101,812.62 was transmitted. While the project status is on hold and IMELS was advised on the reason, the project balance is AUD101,588.80 as of 31st May 2016. 

The second tranche of fund will be utilized in the construction of the biofuel testing laboratory, to cater for equipment’s and tools testing and for capacity building to train Energy Officers on how to operate the testing laboratory. EPU have been working on doing some necessary consultations with the concerned bodies including KCMC and Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCIC) on how to progress this very bending project as well as the new house to relocate the Biodiesel plants if the project equipment will be transferred from KCMC. 

  1. PV Hybrid Mini-Grid for Chevalier College:

The project objective is install a sustainable Solar PV hybrid 25kWp providing 24/7 electricity to Chevalier College in Abemama to facilitate the school development with existing poor mini-grid network supplied by an oversized 45kVA diesel generator. Initially, the project was implemented by the Kiribati Solar Energy Company (KSEC) in January 2011. 

As an implementing agency KSEC managed to complete the design and technical specifications, preparation and launching of the tender dossier, as well as the evaluation of the tenders. The remaining works to be completes is to finalize the contracts for supply and installation with the winning bidder who was also awarded the contract to install the solar PV hybrid system. The issue with the long delay during the implementation in the first stages has forced the KIIREP Committee to reach the decision of withdrawing the project from KSEC. The Committee is confident that the project could be completed by the EPU without any further severe delays. 

The 1st tranche fund deposited in April 2010 of USD173,145.50 was converted to AUD185,204.29 to support the establishment of the Project management office, consultation works between KSEC (implementing agency), stakeholders and Chevalier School, site surveys and design of PV hybrid system sizable for the community load. 

After EPU took over the project in December 2012, the midterm report was reconstructed taking considerable time as KSEC fails to provide required detailed

activity status and expense acquittal to complete the report. MISE provided AUD7,500 to support the site survey revisit. The issue was also discussed with IMELS for assistance in progressing the project forward. In November 2014, the 2nd tranche fund was received USD173.136 converted to AUD207,451.40.

In January 2015, procurement of project materials was carried out with the assistance from KSEC on the winning bidder selected. In the tender evaluation Rainbow Company from Australia was selected as a supplier as well as a PV designer for this project. However, the installation was supervised and carried out by EPU technicians commencing in September 2015 for upgrading and laying the new grid distribution network prior to the solar hybrid system construction and installation. The project was commissioned in April 20116 and handed over during inauguration to Chevalier College in 7th May 2016. 

Finally, after concluding the project, the budget balance was AUD167,007.76 to be transferred to top up another approved project by JC12 namely “Sustainable Water Supply Systems for Vulnerable Rural Communities” recently started in January 2019.

  1. Low Carbon Electricity system for Social economic development at the Christian Community Leaders Community (CCL), Manoku. Luxembourg: USD193,500.

The project objective is install a sustainable Solar PV hybrid 25kWp providing 24/7 electricity to the Christian Community Leaders Community (CCL) in Manoku, Abemama to facilitate the community development formerly using a 22kVA diesel generator for their mini-grid. Initially, the project was implemented by the Kiribati Solar Energy Company (KSEC) in January 2011. The project is implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) based in Fiji and executed the by EPU. The KIIREP Committee coordinates the project activities.

The project started in 10th June 2016 with the survey followed by system design and specification by EPU. The supply tender bid of AUD 153,668.10 was awarded to Clay Energy based in Fiji in 23rd August 2016.

The installation on the project site by EPU was commenced in 3rd March 2017 and commissioned on the 28th March 2017 in less than a month. The formal handing over and inauguration to CCL was staged on the 6th May 2017 by MISE Secretary and a representative from IUCN. 

CCL Manoku Project had been granted a total amount of $193,500.00 USD. The first tranche (40%) was transferred CCL Project special account on the 18th May 2016 with the amount of $77,400.00 USD and converted to $105,234,53 AUD. The second tranche (30%) fund was processed on 1st December 2016 by IUCN from Fiji after receiving CCL mid-term report with the amount (after currency conversion) of $76,841.88 AUD. The third tranche (20%) deposited into CCL account on the 3rd of March 2017 total of $49,492.48 AUD. The forth and also the last tranche (10%) fund shall be processed upon receiving of CCL Final Report in August 2017. After the project conclusion the budget balance was AUD17,345.47 to be utilized for CCL related energy project proposals.

  1. PV Solar Off-Grid for Fish Centers Outer Islands – Phase 1: Italy (Thomas to complete)

The objective of this project is to transform the power the Ice Plant in the outer islands from the current diesel generator to a Solar Hybrid off-grid for the plants’ freezers and ice-maker equipment including the lightings and other appliances used. 

This project covers 10 Outer Islands such as Tamana, Arorae, Nonouti, Onotoa, Kuria, Makin, Marakei, Tab-South, Teraina and Tabuaeran. 

The total project fund approved for the whole project is USD$753,400.00. The first tranche was received from Italy Government on the 24th June 2016 at the amount of 580,000.00 USD equivalent to 746,048.08 AUD and allocated to the KIIREP special account within the implementing agency Ministry of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy (MISE). 

The first tranche supports and allow the execution of site survey, signing of agreement and management of tender evaluation and purchasing of materials from the supplier. The second tranche is requested to cater for the remaining of the project activities at the amount of 173,403.00 USD. The second tranche received in mid July 2017. 

The installation of system for Gilbert Groups was carried out on 31st August 2017 and completed on 27th November 2017. For Line groups started on 11th November 2017 and completed on 13th December 2017. Line Groups systems commissioned in December 2017 and for the Gilbert Groups systems commissioned September to November respectively to the completion dates.

After completing this project, the remaining balance is 48,719.20 AUD after completion of all the project activities.  


For more information contact MISE office ...


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