Antigua and Barbuda Seeking Japanese aid for Energy Development

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, April 21 2015 – The Antigua and Barbuda government is seeking assistance from Japan in advancing its programme for achieving a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency as well as 20 percent renewable energy integration by 2020.

A government statement issued following talks Monday between Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Minister Asot Michael and the Special Envoy for UN affairs and Special Envoy for Japan -CARICOM Relations, Ambassador Ken Shimanouchi indicated that St. John’s would be submitting an integrated package of proposals to Tokyo.

“This would include assessing the feasibility of a waste to energy plant in Antigua, as well as measures for ensuring the smooth integration of renewable energy into the national grid. Possibilities for assistance in wind and solar development were also discussed including opportunities for private sector investment from Japan,” the statement noted.

It said the meeting also examined the potential for developing tourism linkages between Antigua and Barbuda and Japan and it was agreed that the Japanese Embassy in Trinidad would liaise with tourism officials here concerning the possibility for participation in major tourism trade fairs and explosions in Japan.

During the discussions, Michael expressed his government’s appreciation for the “considerable assistance” provided to the island by Japan over the years.

He commended Japan for its decision to remove per capita criteria as a condition for concessional financing for small island developing States like Antigua and Barbuda and urged Tokyo to promote this approach within the major international financial institutions.

The Japanese diplomat for his part, highlighted his country’s ongoing programme of assistance to the Caribbean in the field of energy particularly in renewable energy and energy efficiency and indicated that Japan was also interested in sharing its considerable expertise in such areas as energy efficiency and geothermal energy.

The statement said that during the meeting, the officials reviewed the recent experience of a high level Caribbean Community (CARICOM) renewable energy mission to Japan which had visited a number of demonstration sites incorporating the latest trends in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

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