The Ministry through its IMPRESS Project officially launched one of its 5 Community Biogas System Pilot Program at Vaisala Savai’i, on 14th October 2021. The launching event marks a third milestone for successful development of Biogas system by the IMPRESS Project within the communities.
The purpose of IMPRESS Project in alignment to the Ministry and Environment Sector target goals is to improve sustainable and cost-effective utilization of indigenous renewable energy resources for energy production in Samoa especially communities. The development of the Biogas Systems within the communities (i.e Vaisala Community) is through Component 2 (Renewable Energy Based energy system improvements); and Component 4 (Productive & Social Uses of Renewable Energy) of the project.
The selection of the pilot site was completed according to the availability and sustainability of the feedstock (i.e livestock and crops). The IMPRESS Project has also seen the ongoing benefit of the Pilot Project towards the community especially the ongoing negotiations for establishing community buy in.
To successfully develop such technology in Vaisala, the IMPRESS Project had partnered with the BioEnergy Solutions Technology (B.E.S.T) Company Limited to construct the system for the Vaisala, Savai’i.
Afioga Moafanua Tolusina Pouli – ACEO Forestry Division had delivered his keynote address on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources and
“The biogas system will use waste from the piggery farm food scraps to generate biogas for cooking and lighting purposes. It is anticipated that this project will have multiple benefits for our community in terms of; Utilizing wastes to generate biogas; improved on-site waste management technology; cost efficiency; create employment opportunities for locals to collect waste to feed the digester; educational and awareness of younger and future generations; and more importantly, this renewable energy technology will assist in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Alo Kolone Vaai – Biogas System Manager had commented “We are grateful for this partnership with our Government. Such technology is useful for our community as we are accustomed to farming practices. The system will allow us to sustainably manage our wastes into energy productions. The development of this technology in our community will allow us to harvest energy from all sorts of organic resources found around our yards.”
During the Ceremony, the Ministry and Alo Kolone Vaai had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the purpose of ensuring both parties have agreed to terms and conditions of responsibilities carried out to sustain the biogas system in years to come.
Mr Usufono Fepulea’i – Director of B.E.S.T Co Ltd commented;
“The biogas digester system we were able to build for Vaisala is 10 cubic meter (m3). The system is designed with a single digester to receive all wastes from piggery, kitchen wastes and other organic wastes. We have also installed a total of 9m3 for this particular system in Vaisala.
The construction of the site had begun on the first week of August 2021 and had completed in early October 2021. The Contractor had also assisted the Project in providing technical trainings for selected members of the Vaisala community to be system operators of the biogas system. A total of 7 biogas system operators were acknowledged by the Ministry for having completed Biogas System Trainings.
The construction of Biogas System for Vaisala, Savai’i is totaled to approximately $100,000 talā. This development was funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); and co-finance by the Government of Samoa, as well as the assistance from the other Government Ministries within the Energy Sector.
The Ministry and IMPRESS Project acknowledges the interest of our communities and the support of our stakeholders; in delivering government initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and providing clean and affordable energy for our communities.