Tag Archives: Public Utilities Board

GPS Training Day 2

New High Precision GPS Equipment for Kiribati

GPS Training Day 2

GPS Training Day 2

The shoreline and infrastructure assets are key elements of daily life in South Tarawa. Until now the accurate mapping and monitoring of these things has been undertaken using basic survey equipment and low accuracy GPS equipment. A new high precision state of the art GPS equipment has been purchased to improve the accuracy of measurement and recording of information in South Tarawa. The equipment was put to use on Tuesday 10th February with the first training workshop completed.

The equipment, worth in excess of $40,000, has been bought under the KAP III program and will be made available to the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities (MPWU), the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD) and the Public Utilities Board (PUB) to vastly improve the speed and accuracy of the survey work they undertake. It is expected that the MPWU will use the equipment for monitoring shoreline erosion and will be able to quantify erosions rates to identify areas most of need of reinforcement. The PUB will use the equipment to accurately locate the water, electricity and sewer pipes, cables and fittings so that they can be relocated if they become buried over time. The MELAD officers will be able to use the equipment to more accurately define land boundaries and remark boundaries where necessary.

Part of the purchase included a week of training by Mr Rob van Manen, a GPS expert from Brisbane Australia. Rob described the new GPS system as being similar to that many fisherman might use and still used the same satellites but was far more accurate by being able to track more satellites and it was able to correct for the inaccuracies found in basic GPS units used for fishing. Rob praised the staff from MPWU, PUB and MELAD who undertook the training and noted they had all learned how to use the equipment very quickly and the days in the field with each ministry to show how to use the equipment in their normal daily tasks had been very productive.

Sunset in Tarawa.

New solar project for South Tarawa

A new solar energy project has the potential to reduce diesel fuel use in Kiribati by up to 230,000 litres a year.

A formal agreement for the project was signed between the Government of Kiribati and the World Bank at the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland on Monday.

HE Anote Tong at the Pacific Energy Summit 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand.

HE Anote Tong at the Pacific Energy Summit 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Brendon O’Hagan

The project will install solar panels at four sites across the capital of South Tarawa and feed them into the existing power grid.

Training will also be provided to the Kiribati Public Utilities Board to operate and maintain the solar power stations.

The project is expected to reduce diesel fuel use in Kiribati by up to 230,000 litres a year, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At present, it is estimated almost half of Kiribati’s 110,000 people live on Tarawa atoll and are dependent on expensive diesel generators to produce electricity.

The signing ceremony took place at the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland and was attended by President of Kiribati Anote Tong and World Bank Country Director for the Pacific Islands Franz Drees-Gross.

Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure and sustainable power source for the country’s people, President Anote Tong said.

Mr Drees-Gross said: “This project is a win-win for Kiribati and sets an important precedent for renewable energy development in the country.”

Find out more about the 2013 Pacific Energy Summit