MANILA, Philippines (PINA Nius, 15 January 2003) - The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$300,000 technical assistance grant to help establish a least-cost power development plan for Samoa's Savai‘i Island.

The grant comes from the Japan Special Fund, financed by the Government of Japan, the Asian Development Bank said.

Savai‘i lags behind Samoa's main island, Upolu, in living standards and private sector development.

To encourage development and raise living standards, the Samoan Government asked the bank to consider a project to develop the hydropower potential of the Sili River basin.

This would provide reliable and low-cost power to Savai‘i, reduce imported fuel costs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The technical assistance project will assess the sector, recommend development strategies and carry out a feasibility study for a small-scale hydro project. The project is to be completed by September

January 16, 2003

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