$8m for Tongan solar power plant

Construction was expected to begin on the plant this year. Photo / Thinkstock
Construction was expected to begin on the plant this year. Photo / Thinkstock

New Zealand is to put nearly $8 million towards creating a solar plant in Tonga, Foreign Minister Murray McCully announced today.

The plant will be built through a public-private partnership between Meridian Energy, Tonga Power and the Tonga government.

Speaking at a Pacific business investment seminar in Auckland today, Mr McCully emphasised the importance of getting the private sector involved to help the region grow.

"This public-private partnership is an exciting approach to delivering aid that also represents a possible model for similar infrastructure projects in the Pacific," he said.

"We want to share our considerable knowledge of this sector with our Pacific neighbours, and Meridian Energy's experience in renewable energy makes them a logical partner for the Tongatapu solar project."

New Zealand will contribute $7.9 million to the plant, which was expected to have construction begun on it later this year.

-APNZ

- APNZ

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