By Andy Sambidge
Foundation stone laid at project backed by Masdar to generate 11% of island's power
The foundation stone has been laid at an Abu Dhabi-funded wind farm in the Seychelles.
Seychelles president James Alix Michel and senior representatives from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and from green energy company Masdar inaugurated the 6MW wind farm.
The wind farm project is the first major renewable energy project in the Seychelles and will generate 11 percent of electricity on the main island, and will cut down on fossil fuel imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Mohammed Al Suwaidi, acting director general of ADFD, said: "This project comes in alignment with ADFD's commitment to support sustainable economic development projects in developing countries.
"This project is a very special one as it will help in achieving the millennium goals of ensuring environmental sustainability by utilising the renewable wind energy to meet the vital demand for electricity."
Masdar will be the project manager of the wind farm on behalf of the Government of the Seychelles and ADFD, a statement said.
Masdar has awarded Unison Co, a South Korean wind-power generation equipment maker, the contract to build the wind farm.
One of the most significant projects in the Western Indian Ocean region, the wind farm will have eight turbines - five located on Romainville Island and three on Ile du Port.
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, said: "We are delighted to launch this project which strengthens the long-standing relationship between the UAE and Seychelles.
"The UAE leadership is committed to building bridges with developed and developing nations alike - and it is this far reaching vision that enables us to continue to progress in supporting the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies worldwide."
Last month, Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of the Seychelles, announced plans for new direct flights from Mahé to Abu Dhabi.
The launch, which will take place on March 12, follows the announcement that Etihad Airways would form a strategic partnership by taking a 40 percent stake in the airline.