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Bringing Biogas to Samoa
Description/achievement of initiative

The British High Commission (BHC) has a strong interest in supporting community projects in Samoa that involve renewable energy, enhanced climate resilience and the potential for building sustainable economic opportunity. In 2012 the BHC provided funding for a demonstration project in Piu Village to prove that an invasive vine (merremia) could be a feedstock resource to produce biogas that could be used in cooking and lighting for village households. This demonstration system was installed in early 2013 by BHC's project partner BioEnceptionz Ltd of Wellington, New Zealand. (BioEnceptionz is a not-for-profit social enterprise specialising in showcasing the potential for bioenergy systems in Pacific Islands.) This demonstration project successfully met its objectives and has grown since with greater investment from other government partners.In 2013, The Prime Minister turned the soils at the launch of the new Resource Testing and Community Engagement Centre build with British Funds at the Samoan Tourism Authority village, Matefale, Apia. After signing a new agreement between the UK and Samoa, PM Tuilaepa and the British High Commissioner dug the soils and opened the British Funded bio digester research project.The centre provides Samoa with the capability of methodically testing and cataloguing the biogas potential of a wide range of possible feedstocks that can be used in biodigesters to produce biogas, including for commercial scale operations. These feedstocks, include ˜green waste" such as grasses, vines, foliage drop and foodwaste and, as well, crop residues (such as taro leaves), crop processing wastes, and over abundant crop products with low market value. The "community engagement" aspect of this centre is in both seeing the biodigester technologies in operation, and in the use of biogas. The biogas can be used as a free cooking fuel resource to the host site and charitable community groups. To maintain a constant supply of biogas, in addition to the biogas test cells, the centre will include a biodigester that can be ˜fed" with foodwaste from the host site as well as some local area restaurants.The tourism sector is crucial to Samoa's economy and ongoing economic development. However this is impeded by the very high cost of energy in Samoa. Supporting the showcasing of viable approaches for the tourism sector to have affordable renewable energy is of key interest to the Samoa Tourism Authority. This project is about sustainable Development, renewable energies, and improving livelihoods. We are now moving onto the next stage with Women in Business and bring greater benefits to the business community of small enterprises. We aim to make this a commercially viable project and want to attract more partnerships which we can do at SIDS

Implementation methodologies

The British High Commission has for the third year been a partner to this project, and Samoan customers continue to benefit as a result of this commitment.Out of this recognition for the good work done in Samoa, the BHC wants to build on that partnership. In terms of policy, whilst partners with larger pockets are able to fund other renewable energy systems, we with smaller resources feel it is important to compliment these efforts with alternative solutions. Our commitment and partnership is now in it's third yearSIDS will help us to launch and discuss this innovative project, We will showcase our partnership at SIDS to attract the attention of other possible partners and allow for the concept (which we have proven) to transition into a commercially viable enterprise. BHC Wellingtons strategic objective is to support true sustainable development, by providing growth to businesses, improving peoples livelihoods whilst ensuring we are not damaging the environment. The Biodigester project does this job.About UK aid in the Pacific:The UK has spent over £60m through multilateral agencies in the last five years to help countries in the region cope with the realities of climate change.The UK is funding US$10m of the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience in Samoa worth US$25 million to build resilience to climate change.The EU is the biggest single donor in the world. The UK makes up 15% of the European Development Fund (EDF) funds. EDF funds for 2008-13 were US $950 million and the UK share of this was US $143 million.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The next stage in our project runs from April 2014-2015. It is two-fold. To provide a greenwaste biodigester in a 5000 litre plastic tank that produces biogas that can be used for some on-site purpose, e.g. cooking, lighting and gas hot water heating at the Women in Business (WIB) nursery. WIB is an organisation that helps sustainable farmers to export organic products and contribute tot he GDP of Samoa.This can be a step towards the bigger project of building a biodigester that would store gas of at least 60 cubic metres (60,000 litres). A key issue is how many cubic metres per day of gas can we produce out of a given size of digester vessel for the feedstocks that are the likely mix in this application. We will get a good sense of this in the next couple of months from the results of the larger digester at the Resource Testing Centre. It is our desire to attract other partners at SIDS for the second phase of this projectIf the best technical application for the big project is to use a large soft digester vessel, this plastic tank can be used for storage of collected rainwater that will be needed for the system.Capacity Building arrangements are in place as is technology transfer. Murray Ward of Samoa Biogas Systems will continue to oversee this project

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The New Zealand based not-for-profit social enterprise NGO, BioEenceptionz implements the project with oversight by the Samoa Ministry for of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE).The Samoa Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has a strong interest in the potential application of biodigester technologies in Samoa. They have recently led two feasibility studies supported by the EU-funded water and sanitation programme, and the UN FAO office in Samoa. The ˜biogas potential" data that will come from the resource testing programme will provide much needed Samoa-circumstance specific information for a wide range of potential biodigester applications. Samoa Biogas Systems which was called BioEnceptionz is a New Zealand-based entity operating under the principles of a not-for-profit social enterprise. They conceive, plan with host governments and donors, and implement feasibility studies involving advanced biomass and waste-based energy systems suitable for Pacific Island and other developing countries. They provide ˜seeing is believing" proof of the technical and economic applicability of the technologies. They are involved in the development of financeable business models that can be used by local companies when these new systems are rolled out.


The British High Commission Samoa Biogas Systems The Government of Samoa
Progress reports
Goal 7
Liquid fertilizer from plants that biodigester produces
Saved electricity costs off the grid by using waste products
Gas and electricity as result of biodigester which is used in ordinary households and in businesses
We want to train Samoans to build fibreglass tanks and create their own businesses
Financing (in USD)
Staff / Technical expertise
Staff / Technical expertise
Samoan Biogas systems
Staff / Technical expertise
Samoan Biogas systems
Other, please specify
The Samoan Prime Minister

Basic information
Time-frame: 0000-00-00 - September 2015
The British High Commission Samoa Biogas Systems The Government of Samoa
Contact information
Pip morgan, Second Secretary British High Commission, Pip.Morgan@fco.gov.uk
United Nations