Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced on her visit to Palau on Friday plans to build a “landmark” multimillion solar farm project here.
“I also would like to announce today and to confirm that through financing from the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific that we are going to provide financing of up to AUD 30 million (USD22 million) for a landmark solar energy project in Palau,” Minister Payne said on Dec 3 ‘d formal opening of the Australian embassy.
Payne said the solar farm with battery storage will meet 20 percent of Palau’s energy need from renewable energy.
Minister Payne said Australia is committed to supporting high-quality infrastructure in Palau.
“Our focus is on maximizing low cost, low emissions technologies that are climate and disaster-resilient in the development work we do,” Payne said,
It was Payne’s first visit to Palau and stressed that the formal opening of the embassy here demonstrated Australia’s commitment to its Pacific Step-up.
Payne, in her two-day visit, held bilateral talks with President Surangel Whipps Jr. and met with a number of officials including her counterpart State Minister Gustav Aitaro, Vice President J. Uduch Senior and members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK).
“It is a moment of great pride for a foreign minister to open a new embassy. And to do that here today, Notwithstanding, that, I think I’ve seen the extremes of Palau’s weather in my visit, is a real acknowledgment of our commitment to the region, and our commitment to the bilateral relationship between Australia and Palau.”
Payne also visited the Marine Law Division and saw the Guardian class patrol boat which was provided to Palau through Australia’s Pacific maritime security program.
She said through the patrol boat, Palau will be able to address the challenges of IUU fishing in the region.
Minister Payne also met with women leaders in Palau.