Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 11, 2015 (SKNIS): A donation of US$600,000 from the Republic of China (Taiwan) will facilitate the upgrading of the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport (RLB) and the final stage for the solar power station at the Basseterre Valley Park on Frigate Bay Road.
A brief ceremony was held on Thursday, December 10, at the office of the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and Transport, where he extended thanks.
“In the case of St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority (SCASPA), it is to continue the enhancement of the airport in respect to the checking area,” he said, while adding that the departure lounge underwent upgrade some months ago.
Minister Liburd explained that out of the funds, US$300,000 will go to the St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC) for the development of the solar farm on the Frigate Bay Road next to the Eastern Caribbean Central Banks (ECCB).
“I am happy to say that the farm has already been online with SKELEC,” Minister Liburd stated. “We have done all the tests and sometime in the near future at the convenience of the Ambassador, we are going to officially hand over the farm to SKELEC on behalf of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The minister noted that Taiwan has offered a great deal of assistance to St. Kitts and Nevis with respect to global warming issues by ensuring that the Federation moves into renewable energy. He further added that the airport is a critical link in the transport sector and therefore the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis are happy for the opportunity to enhance the experience at the airport.
His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, reiterated Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris’ point at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Paris, where he noted that the danger of climate change is real and present.
“The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is building strategic partnership with countries and the private sector to develop geothermal, solar and wind power solution,” His Excellency said. “The Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is happy to cooperate with St. Kitts and Nevis to develop green and clean energy.
Ambassador Chiou noted that besides renewable energy, tourism is another vital industry on the islands and stated that it is his belief that RLB will provide a new and efficient service to passengers after the upgrades.
In addition to the US$300,000 donated to SCASPA, the institution has to make its own contribution of $200,000 to cover the reaming cost of the upgrades.
Also present at the ceremony were Mrs Brenda Boncamper, Permanent Secretary in Minister Liburd’s ministry, officials from SKELEC, as well as SCASPA.