UK Government, CDB and CDF Supporting Barbuda’s Recovery and Resilience with Energy Project
The construction phase of the Barbuda Energy Resilience Project, set to transform the energy landscape of Barbuda, is officially underway following the sod-turning ceremony held at the Community Centre in Codrington, Barbuda on April 20, 2023.
The project aims to increase the resilience of the electricity distribution network in Barbuda by providing hybrid solar systems on key public buildings and improving the population’s level of access to modern electricity services. The initiative is being funded by the Government of the United Kingdom and the CARICOM Development Fund in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.
Speaking at the ceremony, CDB’s Director of Projects, Daniel Best said, “The Barbuda Resilience Project aims to address vulnerabilities on the island by establishing a more robust distribution system and ensuring greater reliability of the energy supply to public facilities. Beyond modernising electrical infrastructure, employment opportunities will also be created during the construction and rehabilitation phase of the project contributing to overall economic activity,”
Resident British Commissioner to Antigua and Barbuda, Lindsy Thompson, who also addressed the ceremony said, “The UK Government understands how pivotal the Energy Resilience Project is for Barbuda’s revitalisation, recovery, and sustainability, especially after the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and the ever-looming consequences of climate change which we face. We are proud to be providing £2.89 million (XCD 9.7m) in grant funding for this project, which will deliver real and tangible benefits for the people of Barbuda.”
In addition to providing critical infrastructure, the project will also safeguard some of the most vulnerable households and strengthen the capacity of the public and private sectors to effectively function and provide services to clients. Minister of Information, Communication Technologies, Utilities and Energy, Hon. Melford Nicholas, said the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is pleased with the social and economic prospects as well as the opportunities for the residents of Barbuda which will result from the provision of modern electricity services.
Works have now begun to move key electricity supply lines underground to reduce vulnerability to high winds. In a few weeks, solar power systems will be installed on the Hanna Thomas Hospital, the Community Centre and the Barbuda Council building. There is also a Reconnection Support Programme underway for residents who remain disconnected from the energy network following Hurricane Irma. The entire project is expected to be completed by December 2023.