GIS - 25 November, 2015: Mauritius and Australia signed yesterday in Port Louis an agreement on Assessing Wave Energy and Micro Grid in Mauritius. A study will be conducted by the Australian firm Carnegie Wave Energy Limited. To this effect, a funding proposal of about AUD $ 990 000 was endorsed for the project.
The signatories were the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Vishu Lutchmeenaraidoo and the Australian High Commissioner in Mauritius, Mrs Susan Coles, in the presence of the Chief Operating Officer of Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, Mr Greg Allen.
The agreement reiterates the emerging cooperation between Australia and Mauritius in developing the Blue economy, one of the three key pillars of the New Economic Strategy; the other two pillars being the Maritime hub and the economic integration within the region and Africa.
The agreement is a follow up to a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Mauritius Research Council in June this year with focus on three key areas. They are namely: the delivery of a renewable energy roadmap for Mauritius, including technical, commercial and financial feasibility of high penetration renewable energy; the assessment of the Mauritian wave energy project; and the design of a microgrid powered desalination plant in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
In his address Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo welcomed the initiative of exploring Wave energy in collaboration with the Australian Government as part of the Blue economy vision. According to him, the Blue economy offers new possibilities for unlocking sustainable growth and jobs.
He further underlined that, in its endeavour to achieve a high investment-high employment economy as envisioned in the Budget 2015-2016 and in the Economic Mission Statement, Mauritius is strategically contemplating how best to create viable economic and entrepreneurial activities within its 2.3 million square kilometres of Exclusive Economic Zone.
The Mauritian economy is at the crossroad and the Blue economy is the way forward to break away from the mid-income trap, he added. On that score Mauritius, as an ecologically vulnerable Small Island State, needs green energy, green industries and green infrastructure to secure its long-term sustainable development in the face of climate change.
He concluded by stating that Mauritius looks up to Australia as a partner in our new Economic vision. Australia will see more and more benefits with its partnership with Mauritius as the latter turns into a vibrant regional hub for trade, financial and business services. Mauritius is set to play a leading role in the Asia-Africa corridor in terms of air connectivity and movement of investments and merchandise trade.
He outlined the interest expressed by Australian quoted investment private bank Macquarie to finance through a local partner, Scott Shipping, and Atlantic Energy Consulting to set up and operate bunkering facilities in Mauritius. The objective is to service the huge maritime traffic between Asia and Africa and Asia and South-America.
For her part the Australian High Commissioner, Mrs Susan Coles, recalled that access to clean, renewable energy is critical for Mauritius and other small island states and is key to unlocking economic prosperity. She lauded the initiative of tapping the wave energy which is in line with Mauritius vision of developing renewable energy technologies, the blue economy and domestic water security.
The Chief Operating Officer of Carnegie, Mr Greg Allen, highlighted that Renewable micro grid solutions incorporating combinations of wave, wind, solar, energy storage and desalination have the potential to deliver cheaper and cleaner power and freshwater for islands. He further said that projects like Carnegie’s Garden Island Microgrid in Western Australia can be replicated as model in Mauritius.