Mauritius Finance Minister Xavier Luc Duval signed an agreement with the European Union (EU) on April 18, 2014, to provide financial support to NGOs and local communities, with the objective of reducing social disparity and meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

The European Development Fund gave Mauritius 5.1 million euro which will be invested in projects for the improvement of water supply in Rodrigues island because, as underlined by the EU delegate Guy Samzun who was present at the event, Rodrigues is facing a major problem of scarcity.

“With climate change, the island has lesser and lesser rain. Therefore, Rodrigues faced long periods of drought and had no access to water. Consequently, a huge amount of water harvested by the showers drained into the sea,” he said.

Further to a discussion with the Regional Assembly, 3 million euro has been approved for the development of the water sector in Rodrigues and the NGOs have been invited to take advantage of this program.

Xavier Duval drew the attention on the fact that this signature is a “testimony to our good Governance and best practices applied in Mauritius” and he seized the occasion to thank the EU for its help.

“Rs 120 million will be allocated to the financing of projects to improve the water supply in Rodrigues, and Rs 80 million to the non-State actors for the poverty relief,” he indicated.

In regards to the CT Power, the finance minister reminded that the agreement between the EU about the package of development granted to Mauritius was signed in 2006.

In 2008, the Central Electricity Board (CEB) and CT Power concluded the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). However, CT Power did not have to obtain its licence EIA of the Ministry of Environment.

Further to the court’s decision, CT Power obtained its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licence in 2011 by carrying on with this project in spite of the ecologists’ disapproval.

Xavier Duval estimated that electricity produced by the power plant with coal CT Power will allow the country to make annual contributionsto the economy of the order of Rs 432 million.

The EU had granted Mauritius a package of development amounting to Rs 1.6 billion which included the financing of another power plant construction with a capacity of 100 megawatts costing Rs 400 million on the condition that the government launches “open international tenders”.

After the Court’s decision to allow CT Power to go ahead with its project, the offer of the EU was discarded, representing a loss of Rs 400 million.

According to the finance minister, the cost of production for electricity by the CEB can be established as follows: the gas turbine: Rs 13 unity of Kw/hour, renewable energy: Rs 6.60 the unity of Kw/ hour, heavy oil: Rs 5.30 unity of Kw/ hours, coal (CT Power): Rs 4.58 unity of Kw/hour.

Image (archive): The European Development Fund gave Mauritius 5.1 million euro which will be invested in projects for the improvement of water supply in Rodrigues island. The finance minister Xavier Duval signed the agreement last week.

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