CDB approves funding to restore electricity and build climate resilience in Anguilla

The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved over USD5 million in funding to support the Anguilla Electricity Company Limited (ANGLEC) with the complete restoration of its transmission and distribution system, which was damaged during the passage of Hurricane Irma in September.

The severe weather event destroyed poles, transmission lines and transformers, causing notable disruption to Anguilla’s electricity supply.  The outage also interrupted the island’s water supply and resulted in the cancellation of numerous hotel bookings.

“The economic impact of these disruptions has been significant. This project will therefore focus on urgently restoring the transmission and distribution system by financing the purchase of replacement equipment and material needed for complete restoration,” said Daniel Best, Director, Projects Department, CDB.

The Director also noted the need to address Anguilla’s vulnerability to climate change, and build the country’s resilience to its impacts.

“This project will also include a climate vulnerability and risk assessment  that will provide recommendations to improve the climate resilience of Anguilla’s electricity network. The Bank will also support the preparation of a business continuity plan to help ANGLEC recover better and faster after a disaster event,” he said.

Under the project, the transmission and distribution system will be rebuilt in accordance with current installation standards, and ANGLEC will use the opportunity to introduce measures to correct some pre-existing issues.  These include improving the anchoring and staying of new poles and re-routing power lines.

In addition to a loan from CDB, the project will be supported through USD61,000 in grant resources provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to CDB under the EIB Grant Facility for Climate Action Support, and counterpart financing from ANGLEC.

Hurricane Irma caused a total shutdown of Anguilla’s electricity system, affecting households, essential services, government entities and businesses.  A month later, only 40 percent of Anguillans regained service.  Irma’s impact further deepened socioeconomic challenges in Anguilla as the Government worked toward recovery from a near decade-long fallout of the financial crisis, which threatened the island’s economic security due to contractions in the two main economic sectors – tourism and financial services.

The Project aligns with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and development through the promotion of environmental sustainability. Since 2000, CDB has provided USD4.3 million in support for three disaster management projects in Anguilla.