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NZ support for aviation and energy in Kiribati

NZ support for aviation and energy in Kiribati

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced that New Zealand will invest in aviation links and renewable energy for Kiribati’s Kiritimati Island.

“Kiritimati Island has enormous potential for tourism, yet the sector’s development is constrained by limited air services and the lack of a reliable and sustainable electricity network, Mr McCully says.

“New Zealand has agreed to help develop the infrastructure at Cassidy airport in Kiritimati, including the construction of an emergency services building and control tower and the provision of navigational aids and communications equipment.

“This will cost an estimated $6.25 million and will enable the airport to meet minimum aviation safety requirements and secure the future of critical air connections. This is in addition to the $17.6 million project to reseal the runway which has already been completed.

New Zealand also signed a joint declaration with the Government of Kiribati and the European Union to support renewable energy projects in Kiritimati Island.

“Kiritimati Island relies almost exclusively on imported diesel fuel for electricity generation and faces issues in delivering and maintaining a reliable and sustainable electricity service.

“New Zealand and The European Union are working closely to help Pacific Governments convert to renewable energy and the agreement we have entered into will allow for great technical cooperation on energy projects on Kiritimati Island.

“This investment in aviation safety and renewable energy will underpin the growth of tourism and fisheries in Kiritimati Island. These sectors are vital to the future of Kiritimati Island and Kiribati,” Mr McCully says.

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