A&B gets loan to address energy needs

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne said a US $15 million loan from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), will go a long way in assisting the country to address the issues of climate change and adaptation.
The funds are to be used to finance desalination plants across the island and provide energy support for various government buildings, including schools, clinics and the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC).
According to the nation’s leader, Antigua & Barbuda has had persistent drought for the last four years, and as a result, the country has become fully reliant on reverse osmosis water, and by applying the initiative, the country will be producing water from wind and solar plants that are to be built.
“That, in itself, will help us to reduce the costs of the energy that we are presently utilising to produce water and that will redound to the benefit of the average person. So, that whereas we are heavily subsidising water it means that the extent of the subsidy will be reduced, because we will have cheaper energy,” Browne said.
He was speaking shortly after the signing ceremony of the loan, on the weekend, at the 7th Annual Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Browne said, in addition, the country is making attempts to transition into renewables and to ensure that the reliance on renewables will be about 20 per cent by 2019.
“So what we are seeking to do here actively is to transition into renewable energy and that is yet another benefit. Plus, there are other attending benefits; new industries will spring from the investment. In fact, in 2016 we invested US $22 million in 10 megs of solar so this new facility will help the transition,” Browne said.

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