Saturday, June 8, 2013

First Chuuk State summit on energy security and electrification

FSMIS (June 8, 2013): Chuuk State held an energy summit on June 6th and 7th at the Blue Lagoon Resort, calling together State and Municipal officials, including several Mayors from the forty Municipalities, Members of the Chuuk State Legislature, representatives of the Chuuk Chamber of Commerce, the Chuuk Women Council, and other non-government organizations.

Governor Johnson Elimo welcomed guests, presenters and participants at the meeting and thanked the primary organizers of the meeting, namely the Chuuk State Public Utility Corporation (CPUC) and the Chuuk State Energy Work Group (EWG). He also expressed enthusiasm and support toward the summit, calling for active participation to make the event a success. He also stressed appreciation to all the entities that enabled the convening of the summit, such as the FSM Petroleum Corporation and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, to name a few.

FSM President Manny Mori gave the keynote address at the opening of the summit in which he commended CPUC “for taking the initiative to convene the summit”.

“Earlier this year, I was happy to support the participation of CPUC management at a regional meeting in New Zealand and I want to thank Mr. Mark Waite (CEO of CPUC) for taking the time to join me in witnessing the launching of a Tonga Road Map for Energy. I am sure Mark will be able to share his experience with you and utilize lessons learned to inform decision-making in this forum.”

President Mori highlighted that the FSM Energy policy put in place a year ago calls for a 30-percent reduction in use of fossil fuel across the nation and a 50-percent increase in energy efficiency by 2020.
The summit was organized to spur stakeholders’ discussions on energy security in Chuuk and assess ways and means to supporting statewide electrification as an underpinning factor to socio-economic development. One of the objectives of the summit was to steer toward developing Chuuk State’s integrated roadmap to achieving energy security aligned to the FSM National Energy Policy, involving expert advice and based on specific needs and environmental configurations at the regions.

Supporting the summit by way of technical expertise and financial sponsorship were FSM Secretary of Resources and Development Mr. Marion Henry, Mr. Rupeni Mario from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the NorthRep Office, Mr. Jared C. Morris, CEO of the FSM Petroleum Corporation, and Mr. Mark Waite, CEO of the Chuuk Public Utility Corporation. Assistant Director Mr. Gillian Doone from FSM SBOC Office, Division of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) also the FSM National Authorizing Officer (NAO) was on hand to give guidance in light of the proposed National ODA policy now pending before the FSM Congress for endorsement.

On the second day, participants grouped down according to regions to provide their views and make inputs. Inputs from the Chuuk Women’s Council through Mrs. Kiki Stinnett and the Mortlocks Development Authority, presented by Mr. Rex Palacios, reinforced the acknowledgement that electrification entailed much more than providing light to households in remote areas.  

In general, participants shared the confidence that the national goal of reducing fossil fuel dependence by 30 percent in 2020 and the ambition to eventually electrify Chuuk in the long run were some achievable objectives. If stakeholders played their parts consistently.

Energy must be sufficiently available if we are to achieve private-sector-led economic growth to meet our needs and contribute to our shared-global Millennium Development Goals of reducing poverty, providing education and health care for all, and promoting the sustainable use of our natural resources”, President Mori remarked when opening the summit.

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