BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 23, 2018 (CMC) – The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it will provide US$16 million in funding to the Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC), to assist with the restoration of electricity generation services on the hurricane-ravaged island.
The CDB Board of Directors approved the provision of a loan of US$15.8 million and a grant of US$200,000 to restore DOMLEC’s transmission and distribution system, and improve the company’s resilience to climate change.
Dominica’s electricity sector was severely affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, with approximately 75 percent of the network being destroyed or damaged.
As of January 2018, less than 20 percent of electricity services had been restored.
“In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Dominica was completely without electricity services. We know that the provision of electricity is critical to the social and economic wellbeing of citizens and residents of the island,” said Daniel Best, CDB director of projects.
“DOMLEC has been working, diligently, to restore service to the island and this project aims to support those efforts, and accelerate the pace of reconstruction.”
The CDB said that the project has several components, including infrastructure works: reconstruction of the transmission and distribution system, including the replacement of utility poles and distribution lines.
Light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights will be installed, and a 300-foot river defence system constructed at the Sugar Loaf distribution plant.
It will also allow for consultancy services to work with installation crews, to assist with soil analysis, to ensure correct placement of poles, develop guidelines for the installation of transmission systems, as well as technical support for damage analysis.
The CDB said that the long-term, climate-resilience measures for the electricity sector will be informed by a Climate Vulnerability Risk Assessment, conducted under the project.
“In addition, there will be an organisation review conducted at DOMLEC to evaluate internal capacity and propose measures to address gaps,” it added.
The CDB said that the funding includes resources provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under the Climate Action Line of Credit, as well as funds provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under the CDB/IDB Sustainability Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean.
The CDB said that the project is aligned with its strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth, and development through promotion of environmental sustainability.