CDB-funded USD6.4 mn Street Lighting Project Launched in St. Kitts and Nevis
An energy-efficient street lighting project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is projected to save St. Kitts and Nevis over USD2.2 million a year.
Under the Street and Flood Light Retrofitting Project, which was launched last Wednesday at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, 10,650 street lights throughout both St. Kitts and Nevis will be replaced with more energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.
The Board of Directors of CDB approved USD5.8 million in financing for the project in December 2016. The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, the St Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) and the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) are expected to contribute approximately USD700,000 through supporting implementation and installation of the new street lights.
Speaking at the launch, Alexander Augustine, Portfolio Manager, Economic Infrastructure Division, CDB, noted that St. Kitts and Nevis had higher-than-average electricity consumption and like many other Caribbean countries, high dependence on imported fossil fuels for electricity.
“St. Kitts and Nevis, like many of CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries, exhibits a high dependence on imported petroleum products to power its economy. It also has a high electricity consumption per capita, about 20 percent higher than the Latin American and Caribbean average,” stated Augustine.
In light of this and with approximately 87 percent of the Federation’s energy supply being imported, electricity-related fuel imports are equivalent to approximately 8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
“Such heavy reliance on imported fuel has obvious adverse consequences for this twin-island state,” said Augustine, adding:
“This project, with an overall goal of improving energy efficiency across the two islands, will undoubtedly contribute to a reduction in the country’s fuel imports.”
Through the project, the Government will also be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the consumption of fossil fuels in electricity generation
The project also includes a grant for the completion of a climate risk screening study. The study will help both St. Kitts Electric Company (SKELEC) and Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) examine their vulnerability to projected climate change impacts.
Under the project plan, the new LED street lamps are scheduled for installation by the end of 2019.
The project aligns to the Bank's Strategic Plan 2015-2019 and its Energy Sector Policy and Strategy, which highlights energy efficiency and renewable energy as priority investment areas for CDB.