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Solomon Islands

Tina Hydropower Limited

$14.1 million
Renewable Energy
Environmental and Social Review Summary
Proposed

This Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS) is prepared by MIGA staff and disclosed prior to the date on which MIGA’s Board of Directors considers the proposed issuance of a Contract of Guarantee. Its purpose is to enhance the transparency of MIGA’s activities. This document should not be construed as presuming the outcome of the decision by MIGA’s Board of Directors. Board dates are estimates only. 

Any documentation that is attached to this ESRS has been prepared by the project sponsor, and authorization has been given for public release. MIGA has reviewed the attached documentation as provided by the applicant, and considers it of adequate quality to be released to the public, but does not endorse the content.

MIGA has been approached by Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) and Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd (HEC) (collectively, the Sponsors or the Guarantee Holders) to cover their equity investments to Tina Hydropower Limited (THL or the Project Company), established to develop a Hydropower Facility (HPF or the Project), a greenfield asset, on the Tina River, 20 km southeast of Honiara, the capital city of Solomon Islands. Details about MIGA cover are available in the Summary of Proposed Guarantee (SPG) disclosed on MIGA website and available here[SPG] .

The Project will be developed as a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) scheme by the Project Company established jointly by K-Water and HEC. In December 2018, the Project Company entered into a 35-year PPA (including 4.75-year construction period) with Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) for the sale of net available generation capacity. HEC will be primarily responsible for the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) development and K-Water will be responsible for the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) during the BOOT period. K-water is wholly owned by the Government of South Korea (a State-Owned Enterprise) and has extensive experience of investing in, owning and operating hydro power stations. HEC, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, is one of the largest Engineering construction companies in Korea.

The Project falls within the wider SIG Tina River Hydropower Development (TRHD) program which is supported by the World Bank and comprised of four components: (i) the Project; (ii) access road; (iii) transmission line; and (iv) technical assistance to support the operation of the TRHD Project Office (PO) in the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE). The International Development Association (IDA), World Bank Group, is providing a loan and grant to support the TRHD together with other lenders. IDA prepared and disclosed an ESRS for component (i) of the TRHD program (i.e. the Project) dated May 2017, available here.  This ESRS is an update of the ESRS prepared by IDA and includes current status of the Project and information from reports completed after May 2017.

The Project consists of a roller-compacted-concrete (RCC) dam 72 meters (m) high (from foundation, 53 m from the river bed) located on a narrow gorge of the Tina River in a sparsely populated area of Malango Ward. It incorporates a 3.3 kilometers (km) headrace tunnel, surge shaft and surface-type steel penstock to convey water from the dam to a powerhouse and a tailrace at elevation 73 meters above sea level (masl). The reservoir formed by the dam will extend upstream approximately 2.6 km and will have a surface area of about 0.28 square kilometers (km2). The powerhouse will be located approximately 5.4 km downstream of the dam site on the left bank and will house three 5 megawatts (MW) Francis turbines allowing a maximum discharge of about 18 cubic meters per second (m3/s) and a minimum discharge of 2.4 m3/s, with an extra bay for future installation of a possible fourth 5 MW turbine. An environmental flow of 1 m3/s will be maintained between the dam and the powerhouse tailrace. Project support facilities include work areas (for batch plant, crushing areas and pugmill) and project offices.

The HPF will be designed to operate primarily as a run-of-river, baseload plant; however, for a few months during the dry season, due to low flows, it is likely to be operated as a peaking facility. Power will be generated during the peak load periods during the day, with the maximum water released to the river from the powerhouse tailrace. During the night, less power will be generated, and a minimum flow of 3.4 m3/s will be released to the river below the powerhouse (2.4 m3/s from the turbines plus 1 m3/s environmental flow), allowing the reservoir to fill for the next cycle of power generation.

The Project will require the upgrade of an existing 13.2 km road from Black Post junction to Managikiki Village (Lot 1) and construction of a 5.5 km greenfield road from Managikiki Village to the dam (Lot 2) and powerhouse sites (Lot 3). Construction and maintenance of Lot 1, Lot 2 and Lot 3 will be the responsibility of the Project Company for the duration of the PPA, after which it will be handed over to SIG together with the HPF. The Project will also require construction of two parallel single-circuit 66 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines approximately 22 km to the existing substation at the Lungga Diesel Power Station.

The substation at the Lungga Diesel Power Station will be upgraded to receive 66 kV since the highest system voltage at present is 33 kV. SIEA, through its State-Owned Enterprise, Solomon Power, will be responsible for the route selection, construction and operations of the transmission lines and upgrade of the Lungga Power Station. Access road, transmission lines and upgrade of the substation at the Lungga Power Station are considered associated facilities to the Project. The access road is financed by grant funding and is included in the IDA project (component 2) but will be implemented as part of the overall EPC contract under component 1. As such, access road construction activities will be expected to comply with MIGA’s Performance Standards. Upon commissioning of the Project, Lot 2 will be a dedicated Project road, and remain the responsibility of THL for the duration of the PPA. Lot 1, however, is a public road, and therefore, responsibility for maintenance will be handed over to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development. The transmission line and substation upgrade will be financed by IDA (component 3) and implemented by SIEA. As such, SIEA has committed to apply the relevant World Bank environmental and social safeguard policies. THL will have no control and only limited leverage over the environmental and social compliance of the construction and operations of the transmission line.

The proposed dam and powerhouse locations are within a ‘Core Land’ area identified for development of key Project infrastructure, which is dominated by lowland forests modified by logging and semi-commercial timber operations as well as some agricultural activities. No villages or households will need to be resettled for the development of the Project. There are 5 villages (Tina, Managikiki, Antioch, Namopila and Habusi) in the vicinity of the Project. Managikiki village is located along the Lot 1 road near the entrance to the Core Land. Habusi and Namopila are located immediately downstream of the powerhouse site, while Antioch and Tina villages are further downstream from the powerhouse but upstream of the confluence with the Toni River. There is one small settlement (Senge), which is inhabited intermittently, in the dewatered stretch.

The PO within the MMERE oversees TRHD program implementation. The PO provides oversight, coordinates between the program components, monitoring and reporting with support of the World Bank through technical assistance. The technical assistance encompasses financing consultants to monitor implementation of the program, provide capacity building and training to various stakeholders, and monitor and support social and environmental safeguard arrangements.

Construction activities are expected to start by the end of 2019 and last approximately 5 years. Pre-construction works such as the surface geology, geotechnical surveys and unexploded ordnance (UXO) surveys are currently ongoing. During construction, a workforce of approximately 600 including technical, highly skilled, and low skilled workers is expected. It is proposed that during construction, non-local workers will be housed in a temporary construction camp along the Lot 1 road, after the turn off from the Black Post junction. The final location of the construction camp is still to be determined. During operations, non-local workers will be also housed outside of the project area.

 

The Project is “Category A” under MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2013) due to potentially significant adverse environmental and social (E&S) risks and/or impacts. The key E&S issues relate to: impacts on indigenous peoples and acquisition of indigenous peoples’ land under customary ownership; alterations in downstream hydrology and water quality; obstruction of fish migration, conversion or degradation of natural habitat and indirect impacts on primary montane forest habitat in the upper catchment of Tina River.

Current information indicates that the Project will have impacts which must be managed in a manner consistent with all Performance Standards (PS):

  • PS1:  Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts
  • PS2:  Labor and Working Conditions
  • PS3:  Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention
  • PS4:  Community Health, Safety and Security
  • PS5:  Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement
  • PS6:  Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resource
  • PS7: Indigenous People
  • PS8: Cultural Heritage

In addition, the following WBG Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Guidelines are applicable to the Project:

The following documents were reviewed by MIGA:

  • Tina Hydropower Limited, Environmental Impact Statement for Tina River Hydropower Development Project, Solomon Islands, April 2019
  • IDA, Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS) Tina River Hydropower Development Project (TRHDP) Solomon Islands, May 2017
  • Tina River Hydropower Development Project, Community Development Plan, May 2017
  • Tina River Hydropower Development Project, Land Acquisition and Livelihood Restoration Plan, May 2017
  • Solomon Islands Community Benefit Sharing Pilot Project (CBSP), Environmental and Social Management Framework, February 2017
  • Tina River Hydropower Development Project, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, January 2017
  • Tina River Hydropower Development Project, Gender Action Plan, January 2017

MIGA conducted a due diligence site visit in May 2019. The site visit included a tour of the proposed Project location and associated facilities. Meetings were held with representatives of K-water, HEC and PO and local communities, including tribal leaders, customary owners of the core land. MIGA also met with SIG authorities responsible for the oversight of the Project, including MMERE, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Management and Meteorology (MECDM), Ministry of Lands and Housing (MLH), SIEA (Solomon Power), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Forests and Research, and National Museum. In addition, there has been extensive information exchange between MIGA and IDA’s E&S specialists and lenders.

 

K-Water is an existing MIGA client in the Patrind Star Hydropower project since 2012.

MIGA’s due diligence review considered the environmental and social management planning process and documentation for the Project and identified gaps between these and MIGA’s E&S requirements. Where necessary, corrective measures, intended to close these gaps within a reasonable period, are summarized in the paragraphs that follow and in the Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) attached to this Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS). Through the implementation of these measures, the Project is expected to be designed and operated in accordance with MIGA’s Performance Standards. Key E&S issues associated with the Project business activities are summarized in the paragraphs that follow.

 

PS1:  Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts

 

Environmental and Social Assessment and Management System and Policy:

K-water has corporate Health, Safety and Environment (HSE), Sustainability and Human Resources Policies approved by its Board of Directors which are applicable to all operations of the group and its subsidiaries. K-water’s corporate Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) has been developed and is implemented in accordance with International Organization for Standardization ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System and Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) 18001 Construction Project Health and Safety Management System. K-water has been ISO 14001 certified since 2002 and is subsequently re-certified every three years and is KOSHA 18001 certified since 2010. K-water also applies ISO 26000 Guidance for Social Responsibility in developing its Sustainability Management System which covers human rights, labor, environment, and community relations and development. K-water’s HSE policy and ESMS will form the basis of THL’s HSE policy and ESMS.

 

Identification of Risks and Impacts:

An environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) was carried out on behalf of MMERE in accordance with SIG national requirements, World Bank Safeguard Policies and MIGA’s PSs. SIG engaged an E&S Panel of experts to advise on ESIA preparation and other E&S matters. An early draft of the ESIA was disclosed in-country in October 2016 prior to stakeholder consultations. A final draft, taking into account stakeholders’ comments was disclosed on the World Bank website on January 2017 and an updated version disclosed August 2017 taking into account further public consultation. The ESIA examined changes to baseline E&S conditions that could potentially result from the construction and operation of the proposed Project. Measures were proposed to mitigate impacts. A detailed Social Impact Assessment (SIA) was conducted during project preparation as a part of the overall ESIA, which formed the basis of the Land Acquisition and Livelihood Restoration Plan (LALRP), which was prepared with the ESIA.

The ESIA and feasibility studies included a thorough and detailed alternatives assessment. The preferred site in the mid-elevation of Tina river gorge was selected based on favorable technical conditions, economic outcomes and fewer E&S impacts. A summary of alternatives considered (e.g. locations, configurations) is provided in the ESIA. A cumulative impact assessment was also carried out as part of the ESIA, and an Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) prepared. The Project Company was also required to prepare a separate ESIA for official submission to MECDM pursuant to Environment Act 1988, together with its Development Consent application. In April 2019, THL updated the 2017 ESIA and submitted the revised version to MECDM. The revised ESIA is also disclosed on the TRHDP website (https://www.tina-hydro.com/project-documents/). THL is currently undertaking public consultation on the revised ESIA, after which the ESIA will be updated again to incorporate the comments received and resubmitted to MECDM by the end of July 2019.

The ESIA includes an assessment of cumulative impacts against past, present and reasonably foreseeable projects and activities within the Tina/Ngalimbiu River catchment. There are four key projects whose impacts could potentially overlap with the impacts generated by the Project. These include: (i) potential expansion of mining on the Gold Ridge tenement; (ii) Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd (GPPOL)’s Oil Palm production; (iii) artisanal and commercial harvesting of timber; and gravel extraction on the Ngalimbiu River. Key potential cumulative impacts relate to loss of biodiversity, land conflicts, degraded water quality, challenges to local traditions and cultural practices arising from influx of populations with different traditions and practices and increased employment opportunities, the latter a positive impact. The Project has developed measures (presented in the ESIA) to address and minimize the Project’s contributions to cumulative impacts. Managing cumulative impacts; however, goes beyond the scope of individual developers. Under Component 4 of TRHD, the World Bank will support the PO to prepare a Cumulative Impact Management Strategy within one year of Project mobilization, taking into account the different activities in the area. THL will incorporate relevant management measures from the Cumulative Impact Management Strategy into the management plans for the Project (ESAP item).

With the support of the World Bank, SIG prepared a Climate Risk Assessment (CRA) of the Project in June 2016 and the findings were included in the ESIA and incorporated into the design of the Project. The objective of the CRA was to assess the impact of climate change on the Project in relation to hydrology.

Guadalcanal is periodically subjected to tropical cyclones, associated with extreme rainfall events, that are most likely to occur between November and April. The Tina River experiences flash floods almost immediately after heavy rainfall events that occur in the upper catchment which also increases the risk of landslides. Flow and water level can change rapidly during such events.

The CRA focused on the projected climate and runoff changes for the project area by 2050. The findings are as follows: (i) precipitation changes projected by climate models range between a decrease of 15% and an increase of 15%, on average no significant change; (ii) temperatures are projected to increase uniformly and by 2050 the increase is expected to be between 0.5oC and 2oC, on average 1.3oC; (iii) the average basin runoff can vary between 80% (-20%) and 120% (+20%) of the present runoff; by 2090 the range would likely be between 70% and 130% of the present runoff; (iv) Generated annual energy could vary most likely between -20% and +10% of the energy generated under the baseline hydrological conditions and (v) on a global scale, tropical cyclones are likely to show an increase in rainfall rates of the order of 20% within 100 km of the cyclone center, which, when Guadalcanal is hit by a cyclone as happens intermittently, could cause an increase in extreme flows of 25% to 30% in the Tina River basin.  THL confirmed that the detailed design of the Project will consider the findings of the climate risk assessment. The operation manual, dam break analysis and emergency preparation plans will also take into account the possibility of high flash flood flows during tropical cyclone conditions.

 

Management Programs:

THL sponsors (K-Water and HEC) have existing corporate Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS), which will be adapted to develop an ESMS for THL as per ESAP. The THL ESMS will be aligned with the requirements of PS1. Management plans and other implementation support documents (e.g. procedures, checklists) will be developed as part of the ESMS.

The ESIA (2017 and updated version prepared by THL) includes a framework of the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP). The ESMP framework sets out the basis for the Construction Environmental Social Management Plan (CESMP) and Operations Environmental Social Management Plan (OESMP) that will be prepared by the EPC and THL. Compliance with the ESMP is a contractual obligation and is included in the PPA and in the Implementation Agreement, and this commitment will be passed onto the EPC in their contractual agreements. The CESMP and OESMP will be supported by sub-plans, including, but not limited to management plans for: Occupational Health & Safety (OHS); Worker Accommodations; Employee Code of Conduct; Spoil Management and Disposal; Clearing, Grading Underground Excavation; Sediment and Erosion Control; Stockpiles, Quarries, and Borrow Pit; Rock Cutting; Water Quality, Solid and Hazardous Waste and Wastewater; Materials Handling and Storage; Blasting and Explosives; Spill Prevention and Response; Emergency Preparedness and Response; Site Safety and Security; Labor Influx; and Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) as per ESAP. The EPC contractor has engaged E&S consultants to assist in the preparation of the CESMP and relevant sub-plans. The first draft of the CESMP is targeted for completion in August, 2019. All plans will be finalized prior to the start of construction activities as per ESAP.

The EPC and K-Water will clearly state that they are responsible for ensuring all project E&S requirements are met by their sub-contractors and will ensure that E&S commitments are incorporated into any sub-contractor contracts. All contractors’ plans will be reviewed and approved by THL.

The OESMP will be developed before commissioning of the hydropower facility. The CESMP and OESMP will be maintained and developed as the Project advances and will be subject to annual review and updated as required.

 

Organizational Capacity and Competency:

Both K-Water and HEC are experienced engineering firms. As indicated above, K-Water also is experienced in implementing the PSs in the Patrind Hydropower Project in Pakistan since 2012. K-Water has seconded experienced senior engineering staff to the THL team (including staff with experience from Patrind). They have also appointed an E&S Advisor to oversee THL’s E&S commitments. THL has engaged an E&S Manager and an environmental officer and a health and safety/ community liaison officer (CLO) to be responsible for the Project’s E&S compliance (ESAP item). The THL CLO will work closely with the PO CLOs. The THL E&S team will be responsible for overseeing the preparation of the CESMP / OESMP and the various management and monitoring plans. Some of the E&S functions may be delegated to the Owner’s Engineer but THL will have overall responsibility to ensure E&S compliance of the Project.

Although THL has overall responsibility of the Project’s E&S performance, the EPC contractor will be responsible for the day-to-day management of E&S impacts and mitigation measures associated with construction activities. Contractors, including HEC will be required to allocate adequate resources to manage the E&S aspects of their work, including appointing an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Manager and at least two EHS officers for the construction period as per ESAP. Contractors will also be required and responsible for the training and awareness of their staff on the project E&S setting, potential impacts of their work activities, management and mitigation measures, and the existence of, and importance of complying with, THL CESMP and OESMP, including relevant interfacing with contractor’s management systems.

Emergency Preparedness and Response: An emergency plan will be prepared and part of plan will be incorporated within the health and safety plan in the CESMP and OESMP for responses to workplace accidents and incidents including fire and other potential hazards during construction and operation. Prevention of dam-related accidents and preparedness for and response to them is addressed in an emergency preparedness plan under PS4.

 

Monitoring and Review:

The ESIA outlines a number of monitoring plans that will be needed for the Project under THL’s responsibility. Monitoring will be conducted throughout construction and operations to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of operational controls and other measures intended to mitigate potential impacts, as identified in the ESIA, ESMP, and individual management plans. As a minimum, monitoring plans will include key performance indicators (KPIs), frequency and defined roles and responsibilities. A number of pre-construction surveys will also be implemented, including pre-construction benthic invertebrate, fish surveys upstream and downstream of the dam (ESAP item).

Implementation of the CESMP will be monitored by the EPC contractor with oversight from THL. As indicated above, THL will engage an Owner’s Engineer whose scope will include review of environmental compliance of construction activities (e.g. ensuring that method statements include appropriate environmental mitigation measures). The EPC contractor will provide monthly reports to THL throughout the construction period (ESAP item). The PO will also engage an Independent E&S Monitoring Agent prior to the start of construction (ESAP item). In line with K-Water’s ESMS, THL will perform internal and external HSE audits and inspections periodically during construction and operations. THL will develop and implement an audit schedule.

THL will keep MECDM and other regulatory authorities informed of the project’s E&S performance through reporting and face-to-face meetings, as required. THL will also release annual reports on E&S performance that will be available to the public via the THL’s website and will present relevant sections to affected communities as appropriate. Monitoring reports will also be submitted to MIGA, MMERE and other lenders. In addition, the PO will provide ongoing oversight of the Project and THL’s compliance to E&S commitments.

Stakeholder Engagement: The Project has engaged and continues to engage in a process of Informed Consultation and Participation (ICP) consistent with the requirements of PS1, which has led to Broad Community Support for the Project. Stakeholder engagement activities are further discussed under Environmental permitting process and Community Engagement. Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) was also successfully achieved by the Project (further discussed in PS 7).

External Communications and Grievance Mechanism: The PO has established a Project website (www.tina-hydro.com) where the Project reports are published. A grievance redress mechanism (GRM) has also been established for the Project which monitors feedback from various stakeholders and ensures that appropriate responses to such feedback are provided. Grievance resolution combines community-based resolution with PO-based resolution, and potential use of the legal system if complainants prefer. It provides for multiple entry points to the system, formal recording of concerns, multiple resolution pathways depending on the nature of the grievance, use of customary conflict resolution where possible, active consultation, and an appeal system.

 

PS2:  Labor and Working Conditions

 

As mentioned earlier, it is estimated that the Project will engage more than 300 workers during peak construction period. The operations phase will require approximately 40 workers (30 local and 10 expatriates). THL currently has 8 out of 14 staff engaged for the development and design phase and anticipates that the remaining open positions will be filled by the end of 2019. In February 2019, THL opened its office in Honiara. The majority of Project employment will be through the EPC contractor and their sub-contractors.

Human Resources Policies and Procedures: THL does not yet have a Human Resources (HR) Policy. THL is currently recruiting the HR manager who will develop and implement the HR Policy in line with K-Water’s corporate policy (ESAP item). HR procedures will also be revised from K-Water’s corporate procedures (which are based on Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. These principles include protection of internationally proclaimed human rights, freedom of association and recognition of the right to collective bargaining, and the elimination of forced labor, child labor, anticorruption, and all forms of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation. The HR Policy and procedures will be revised to be consistent with SIG labor laws and the requirements of PS2 (ESAP item). The EPC contractor will also be required to develop a HR Policy and procedures in line with THL’s policy and procedures. The EPC contractor’s Policy and procedures will also apply to any sub-contractor. During the first two years of construction, the EPC contractor will be required to engage an independent consultant to undertake semi-annual labor audits (ESAP item). The need for and frequency of audits after the first two years will depend on the results of the audits over the first two years.

Working Conditions and Terms of Employment: As per the ESMP framework included in the ESIA, THL and the EPC contractor will be required to develop a Human Resources and Labor Management Plan, which stipulates priority recruitment of community members in the project area, as well as preferential recruitment of Solomon Islands’ nationals over non-nationals. The plan shall identify hiring processes to implement these recruiting measures together with a grievance mechanism, and audit reporting and review process.

Under a Community Benefit Sharing Pilot (CBSP) supported by a grant from the Japan Social Development Fund to be implemented in connection with the Project, a roster of all eligible individuals will be prepared, and training designed and delivered to enhance the readiness of these individuals to secure contracts/ employment. THL and the EPC contractor have been asked to provide a list of technical skills and services that will be needed so that technical and vocational training can be developed and provided to target beneficiaries (ESAP item).

Recruitment policy will favor those seeking work from Bahomea and Malango and landowning tribes. Pre-employment training will be provided as part of the CBSP initiative. The ESMP also requires THL and contractors to identify a quota for female employment and put in place strategies to ensure that this quota is fulfilled (ESAP item). Furthermore, in line with the Gender Action Plan developed for the Project, the technical and vocational training will consider gender equality and provide equal opportunities in education, skill building, training and employment.

THL’s Human Resources and Labor Management plan will be supported by policies/ procedures to: (i) attract and retain skilled and competent workforce; (ii) ensure employees are aware of their rights and entitlements including pay, holiday, sickness and bereavement leave, and rest breaks; (iii) deliver a fair and equitable environment that includes mechanisms for responding and resolving employees questions, difficulties or concerns, and to provide a clear process for performance management. All employees and contracted workers will be issued with individual contracts of employment detailing conditions of service in line with PS 2 requirements.

Workers from outside local communities will be housed in a construction camp and will be transported to and from construction sites. The temporary construction camp will be constructed by the EPC contractor in line with the EBRD/ IFC Guidance Note on Worker’s Accommodation, with appropriate waste management, sanitary facilities, water supply, and life and fire safety equipment (ESAP item).

Workers Organizations: As this is a greenfield project there are currently no workers’ organizations in THL or the EPC contractor. It is unlikely that such organizations will become active until the operations phase of the project (if at all), as construction will be undertaken by a fluctuating contractor-dominated workforce. Nonetheless, THL and its EPC and O&M contractors will not deter workers from joining workers’ organizations at any stage, should they choose to do so.

Non-Discrimination & Equal Opportunity: As indicated above, THL is committed to non-discrimination and equal opportunity and this will be reflected in their HR policy and procedures. THL will not make use of child or forced labor, in accordance with SIG law and MIGA’s PS2 requirements, and will ensure that its contractors do not either.

Grievance Mechanism: THL will establish a worker grievance mechanism, as per PS2 requirements, for its own staff and will ensure that the EPC contractor establishes one for the construction workforce (including sub-contractor staff) (ESAP item). The THL worker grievance mechanism will be available to all project personnel, including contractor staff. This mechanism will be explained to all workers as part of their formal induction, including details of how the mechanism works and how grievances can be made. Worker grievance records will be retained at head office for future analysis and monitoring by government authorities and/or MIGA and lenders.

 

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS):

THL will require the EPC contractor to prepare a Worker’s Health and Safety Plan. The Workers Health and Safety Plan will detail health and safety responsibilities, communication arrangements, risk assessment, risk register, inspections, training and reporting and applicable requirements (handling dangerous goods and substances, electrical safety, incident management, personal protective equipment (PPE) among others). Other topics related to workplace health and safety will be addressed in individual management plans to be prepared by the EPC contractor pursuant to the ESMP. These plans include but are not limited to Drill and Blast Management Plan, Traffic Management Plan, Hazardous Materials Management Plan, and Spill Prevention and Emergency Response Plan. The EPC and O&M contractors will be contractually required to monitor and enforce project health and safety plans, and to allocate key personnel for the management of worker health and safety risks. All employees on site, including THL staff and sub-contractor staff will be required to comply with the EPC contractor’s OHS policies and standards. Given the worker safety risks associated with large-scale hydropower construction activities in this remote area and in a regional context where health and safety matters are frequently not prioritized by local contractors, During construction, the Owner’s Engineer will regularly audit contractor health and safety performance. Key recommendations of the audit will be communicated to the EPC contractor, and THL will ensure that these recommendations are implemented within an agreed timeframe.

A permit to work system and job risk assessment will be established to ensure that potentially hazardous work is carried out in a safe manner. All workers will be provided with basic health and safety training during induction, including use of appropriate PPE. Additional job-specific training will be given on how to conduct tasks with specific health and safety risks such as welding, use and storage of explosives and hazardous chemicals, working with live equipment, tunneling, electromagnetic field safety measures, working at heights, working on or near water, crossing water courses and road safety. THL will prepare a training plan in conjunction with the EPC contractor including site induction to staff and visitors; occupational health and safety requirements (including incident reporting); HR policy and procedures (workers’ code of conduct, grievance redress mechanism) and job specific training on tasks with specific health and safety risks (ESAP item).

THL’s oversight teams, including the Owner’s Engineer, will ensure that the EPC and sub-contractors maintain a central record of occupational incidents, accidents and diseases and that appropriate corrective measures are taken to prevent recurrence. Each site will have an OHS and first aid qualified representative (the site foreman can also take on the role) who will be responsible for management of all health and safety issues on their site (ESAP item). The OHS and first aid representative(s) will carry out daily site walkovers to identify hazards and take appropriate action based on their findings. As will be stipulated in the Worker’s Health and Safety Plan, incidents and accidents will be reported to the EPC EHS Manager, Owner’s Engineer and THL.

The project area was the scene of hostilities during World War II, and therefore it is possible that unexploded ordinance (UXO) may be encountered during land clearing and excavation. The EPC contractor is carrying out an UXO survey and an UXO Management Plan will be prepared to reduce risk of interaction between workers/communities and UXO and identify the procedures to follow in the event of a chance-find.

A project Security Management Plan will be developed to safeguard project personnel and property and to ensure that safeguarding activities are carried out in a legitimate manner that avoids or minimizes risks to the community’s safety and security (see further discussion in PS4).

Workers Engaged by Third Parties: The main construction contract is likely to be split into several work packages, overseen by the EPC contractor, and possibly undertaken by a number of sub-contractors. The EPC contract will clearly specify that the EPC contractor is responsible for ensuring all project E&S requirements are met by its sub-contractors and ensuring that “flow down” language is included in all sub-contracts (ESAP item). Key requirements passed down/through will include, for example: having a suitable HR policy and procedures, issuing individual worker contracts stipulating conditions of service, developing a worker accommodation plan in accordance with EBRD / IFC guidance, establishing a worker grievance mechanism and establishing a code of conduct, worker health and safety plan and an emergency preparedness and response plan. Contractors and sub-contractors will be made aware of their role in ensuring the Project meets both SIG and MIGA / lenders’ standards on labor and working conditions. One important requirement is that the EPC contractor develops and implements a Worker Code of Conduct that emphasizes the importance of appropriate behavior, respect for local communities and customs, and compliance with all SIG and MIGA / lenders’ requirements. Each employee/worker shall adhere to the Code of Conduct, once she/he has signed the contract to work for the Project. The Code of Conduct as well as all other CESMP requirements will also apply to all sub-contractors and will be referenced by the EPC contractor in all subcontracts.

 

PS3:  Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention

 

The key impacts from construction and operation of the Project are related to water quality (including sedimentation) and quantity, air quality, noise and vibration, and waste and sanitation. These impacts will be avoided, reduced or mitigated through measures identified in the ESIA and ESMP, consistent with national legislation, as well as MIGA’s PSs and applicable WBG EHS guidelines.

 

Resource Efficiency:

Water quantity at the Tina River may be reduced by 7 to 10% of the current flow during construction as a result of concrete production from the batching plant. It is anticipated that approximately 30 million m3 of water from the Tina River will be needed to construct the dam over two dry seasons.  During operations, the Project will also result in reduced flow in the Tina River between the proposed dam site and the powerhouse as the reservoir is being filled. Reservoir filling is estimated to take on average 7 days (it can be longer or shorter depending on the hydrology and occurrence of heavy rains/ floods). To mitigate impacts to users and the aquatic environment, an environmental flow of 1m3/s will be maintained in the dewatered stretch during reservoir filling (see PS 6 for more information on the proposed environmental flow).

Monitoring of river hydrological conditions will be undertaken by THL throughout construction and operations of the Project. According to the PPA, the monitoring program will be comprised of (i) automatic and manual monitoring of the reservoir level; (ii) rainfall monitoring; (iii) river flow monitoring near the dam site, and tailrace. River flow monitoring will also include monitoring in the dewatered stretch to confirm environmental flow releases (ESAP item).

The Project will cause a permanent change to sediment transport process of the Tina / Ngalimbiu River. Hydropower projects can cause sediments to accumulate upstream of the dam, which deprives the dewatered stretch and tailrace of sediment. This can result in channel erosion downstream of a dam as the river attempts to re-establish its natural equilibrium. It can also affect the availability of sediment and gravel in the lower reaches of the Tina / Ngalimbiu River, which is currently excavated for use in road surfacing and building construction. Studies indicate that a significant proportion of suspended sediment is likely to pass through the reservoir via the powerhouse, environmental flows outlet and spillway; however, bed load (including sands and gravels) will be trapped in the reservoir. Some sediment transfer will also occur during overtopping events, particularly during flood events. Periodic flushing and / or dredging of sediments from the reservoir will be required to control reservoir sedimentation. The EPC will complete a fluvial hydrology assessment to determine the magnitude and expected timeframe for downstream impacts, including the extent to which reservoir sediment removal and release downstream will mitigate impacts. The results will be incorporated into the Reservoir Operation and Management Plan, which will provide details on the procedures and timing for flushing / dredging and downstream release (ESAP item).

The project will require approximately 160,000 m3 of aggregate material for construction purposes. Two possible quarry sites have been identified within Core Land area in the future reservoir impoundment area, the suitability of which will be confirmed during the detailed design phase. These aggregate materials will be stockpiled at various locations within the construction area. These land and water construction activities have the potential to cause erosion and sedimentation and increase turbidity in the Tina River. The EPC contractor is responsible for developing and implementing a Quarry Management Plan (which will include measures for closure); Spoil and Topsoil Management Plan; Drainage, Erosion and Sediment Control Plan; Watercourse Crossing Management Plan and a Stormwater Management Plan which identify measures to control runoff, prevent erosion, and retain fine sediments onsite; remove and retain any topsoil for use in rehabilitation at closure; provide appropriate erosion and sediment control, including routing drainage through sediment traps prior to release; and prohibit the disposal of spoils and mucks at unauthorized locations. The EPC contractor will also prepare and implement a Suspended Sediment Monitoring Plan.

Greenhouse Gases (GHG): The Project will generate electricity from a renewable source, thereby contributing to the reduction of GHG emissions. However, GHG will be released from the reservoir as submerged vegetation decays and emitted from generators, construction equipment, and vehicles for transport of materials and workforce during construction. The Project will mitigate GHG emissions caused by decomposition of biomass in the reservoir by adhering to the reservoir preparation plan, which among others, encompasses, clearing vegetation from the reservoir area before inundation. During operations, the Project will have a net beneficial effect on the country’s GHG emissions because it will enable running time of diesel generators to be substantially reduced. The Project will have a net GHG reduction potential of 43,247 Tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq) per year[1]. This takes into account potential emissions from the Project during construction, land clearing, and reservoir operation.

 

Pollution Prevention:

Water quality in the Tina River will be affected by changes in erosion and sediment transport, as well as potentially from discharges and run-offs from the construction site. Sanitary facilities at the construction site will have septic tanks, which will be managed in line with international best practice. Liquid wastes from the construction site could include run-offs from work areas (e.g. batch plant drainage typically has high pH) and tunnel drilling process water (e.g. water used to cool the drill bit and intercepted groundwater are typically very high in suspended sediments). The Project may also impact water quality by land disturbance; spoil and muck disposal; rock cuttings and seepage from tunnel construction, solid and hazardous material use/waste disposal; wastewater discharges; and increase in water temperatures at the reservoir and the dewatered reach. As part of the CESMP, the EPC contractor will prepare a Wastewater Management Plan and a Water Quality Management Plan, which will include: provision of on-site septic system for domestic wastewaters for the construction and operational workforce; provision of storm-water and tunnel drilling water run-off settling ponds, use of oil/water separators, and ensure appropriated treatment prior to discharge. Rock cuttings from tunnelling may be potentially acid generating (PAG). Prior to excavation, the EPC contractor will review the geology of the Project area and will evaluate the geologic formation through which the tunnelling will occur for the potential presence of sulphide and other PAG rock. Pro-active testing of the rock will be carried out to confirm the lack of PAG minerals and determine the acid generation potential of waste rock. The EPC contractor will have a plan in place to manage any PAG rock that may be encountered. As part of the CESMP, the EPC contractor will incorporate rock cuttings management into the Waste Management Plan to ensure that any risk of acid rock drainage is managed in compliance with Good International Industry Practice (ESAP item).

In the operations phase, water quality in the reservoir will be affected by decomposition of biomass, potentially resulting in reduced oxygen levels and eutrophication. The EPC contractor and THL will prepare a Reservoir Preparation Plan and a Reservoir Operation and Maintenance Plan respectively, to mitigate impacts to water quality.

The Project is set in an area of relatively good air quality, with only periodic localized impacts caused by smoke from cooking fires in villages and vegetation clearing fires for gardening. During construction activities, ambient air quality is expected to be affected by heavy equipment, transport equipment and generators which will emit varying amounts of emissions including carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter (PM). In addition, dust will be generated from earth movement activities (grading, excavation, blasting and earthworks) and vehicle movements. Landscape conditions (e.g. narrow gorge) will tend to limit the dispersion of fugitive dust, the duration of the impact will be temporary (i.e. construction period), and no communities are expected to be significantly affected, though minor, nuisance impacts may be experienced at Managikiki, which is on the Lot 1 access road, and Habusi, which is located immediately downstream and across the river from the powerhouse site. Air emissions during operations will be minimal. The ESIA includes measures to mitigate air emissions. The mitigation measures will be incorporated in an Air Quality Management and Dust Control Plan that will be prepared by the EPC contractor.

 

The Project is set within an area of low ambient noise levels. Construction activities such as drilling and blasting above ground at the headrace tunnel and dam site will generate noise and vibration. Noise generated by heavy haul trucks transporting equipment and materials will also increase noise levels along the access road. The EPC contractor will prepare a noise and vibration management plan and a drill and blast management plan. Mitigation measures to be implemented include but are not limited to use of hydraulic rock drill equipment instead of pneumatic equipment, using silenced masts on blasting and drilling equipment and covering blasting charges with mats and screens. Roads near communities will be sealed to minimize noise and dust. Traffic will also be managed as per the traffic management plan to avoid congestion on the access road. An air quality and noise monitoring plan will also be developed and implemented.

 

Waste: The total amount of excavated material expected for the Project and the number and location of spoil disposal areas will be determined during detailed design; however, it is estimated that the construction of the headrace tunnel will generate approximately 24,300 m3 of spoil, and access road construction will require the removal of 327,900 m3 of topsoil. It is anticipated that spoil will be used for road construction as aggregate base or for river diversion works. Per the CESMP (and as mentioned above), the EPC contractor will be responsible for preparing and implementing a Spoil and topsoil management plan which requires careful siting of the spoil disposal areas to ensure the sites are located in areas that are not susceptible to erosion or future landslides, are outside the floodplains, and will avoid impacting any existing irrigation ditches. Topsoil will be stockpiled for reuse in rehabilitation and revegetation activities.

 

Hazardous Materials Management:

Project construction will also generate a variety of solid and hazardous wastes (e.g. debris, waste cement, packing materials, iron bars, waste oil) and domestic (e.g. food wastes) sources. Similarly, per the CESMP, the EPC contractor is also required to prepare and implement a Spill Prevention and Emergency Response Plan, a Waste management and point source pollution plan, which will define measures to properly handle, store, reuse, recycle, and/or properly dispose any of the generated wastes.

Construction activities will use a variety of hazardous materials, including petroleum, oils, and lubricants, paints, cleaning materials, and explosives. A hazardous materials management plan will be developed for the handling and storage of fuels and other hazardous materials. Measures such as using sealed containers in bunded and covered areas to prevent and contain accidental spills. Hazardous material training will be provided to project personnel.

Pesticide Use and Management: Use of pesticides will not be permitted for vegetation clearance. Manual methods of vegetation control will be employed instead.

 

PS4:  Community Health, Safety and Security

 

Community Health and Safety:

Key community health and safety risks associated with the Project include dam safety considerations, slope stability, blasting impacts, traffic safety and other impacts related to the influx of workers, job seekers and camp followers (e.g. infectious diseases transmission, increase in malaria outbreaks, social threats arising from anti-social and inappropriate behavior of workers).

In line with the ESMP, THL and the EPC contractor will prepare management plans that include comprehensive mechanisms following international best practice to avoid, mitigate, manage these potential threats, including but not limited to a drill and blast management plan, community health and disease vector management plan, workers code of conduct, grievance redress mechanism, traffic management plan. These plans will address culturally acceptable behavior in villages, drugs and alcohol use, awareness on sexually transmitted diseases and protocols around interacting with local women and finance management training among others.

Community health and safety risks can be exacerbated by project induced in-migration. The project may attract job-seekers and settlers from Honiara and other regions of Solomon Islands, especially young men, who are attracted by potential job opportunities. The EPC contractor will develop an influx management plan in consultation with local communities and regional authorities to reduce and manage project-induced in-migration to the project area and minimize associated negative impacts to community health and safety as well as social conflict and clashes of culture. In addition, the EPC contractor will establish the construction camp away from communities and will restrict access to the project site to authorized people only. Adults of employment age in the local communities who are interested in employment with the Project will be identified and provided with training as part of the CBSP, which will minimize the risk of recent migrants claiming local status.

Many of the other plans mentioned in PS3 also contribute to mitigating community health and safety risks, such as plans to manage noise and vibration, water pollution, air emissions and dust, hazardous materials management plan among others. In addition, to mitigate the potential impacts associated with decreased availability of water, the EPC contractor will provide domestic water supply to local affected communities to offset downstream impacts and impacts associated with the Project withdrawing water during construction as per the water supply replacement plan stipulated in the ESMP.

Infrastructure and Equipment Design and Safety: The dam will be 200 m across and 72 m high from foundation to crest (53 m from river bed to crest). The dam poses a risk to downstream communities in the unlikely but possible event of dam failure. The history of floods in the Tina River has sensitized residents, and dam safety was a concern voiced during the ESIA community consultations which took place in 2017. A dam break analysis will be undertaken by the EPC as part of the detailed design study, which will show the extent of any flooding in the event of a dam break. The results of the dam break analysis will be incorporated into the Emergency Preparedness Plan (ESAP item). The community safety risk associated with the sudden release of water from the project impoundment is considered to be moderate as the Project will be operated under peaking conditions during the dry season. The Reservoir Operation and Management Plan will include a plan for ramping flow release to ensure that water levels rise gradually when ramping up to peak generation. The Stakeholder engagement and communications plan to be prepared as per the ESMP, will include measures to notify downstream communities of expected daily flow releases and water levels.

THL will engage a consultant to assist in the preparation of the following dam safety plans: (i) construction and quality assurance plan, (ii) operation and maintenance plan; (iii) instrumentation plan; (iv) emergency preparedness plan. In addition, these plans will be reviewed by the independent dam safety advisory panel (DSAP) to be re-engaged by the PO. The DSAP was established to ensure that the design of the dam complies to international accepted dam safety standards. The DSAP initially provided advice on dam site selection and design, with particular focus on seismic and flood risk. Once the Emergency Preparedness Plan is developed, community members will be briefed on relevant actions they should take in the event of an accident involving the dam.

Security Personnel: THL will recruit security personnel or services from the local communities. Project security systems will comply with SIG laws and regulations and PS 4 requirements. The security system will include, among other things, selection of personnel based on a careful background screening, training with regards to human rights requirements, and monitoring of performance. THL and the EPC contractor will develop a Security Management Plan to guide security functions at the construction site and construction camp.

 

PS5:  Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

Approximately 460 ha of land is required for the development of the Project, of which 429 ha is customarily-owned, and 32 ha is registered land owned by a combination of public and private owners. An additional approximately 60 ha will be acquired by Solomon Power for the transmission line easement. The Project site was specifically selected to minimize social impacts, and as a result, no physical displacement will be required.

Land required for the Project is defined as three separate areas based on the method of land acquisition under the SIG Land and Titles Act (originally published in 1969 and most recently amended in 2014): Core Land (428 ha, acquired by compulsory acquisition in August 2014); monitoring site (a rain gauge station, less than 0.05 ha, leased by voluntary registration and lease) and the northern infrastructure corridor (32.4 ha, acquired through a voluntary purchase arrangement with the registered owners). All land acquisition is the responsibility of SIG, and therefore, as per MIGA’s PS5, land acquisition for this Project is considered a Government-led resettlement. Land acquisition has been carried out in accordance with PS 5 requirements.

Both the Core Land and the monitoring sites are located on customarily-owned land. Primary construction activities (e.g. construction of the dam, powerhouse, headrace tunnel, new access road, reservoir area) will be in the Core Land, which was acquired by SIG for the Project in 2014. The Core Land is largely uninhabited and only intermittently used by customary landowners for hunting, collection of non-timber forest products and, potentially, timber. The impact of the Project on landowners includes the loss of future revenues from commercial timber extraction, and the impact on users of the Core Land will be the loss of planted and wild food stocks where land disturbance and construction will take place and the temporary loss of access to hunting, fishing and non-timber forest product gathering areas within the Core Land.

The Core Land is customarily-owned by five tribes with a total of approximately 900 members: (i) Roha tribe (171 ha, 161 members); (ii) Buhu-Garo tribe (161.5 ha, 65 members); (iii) Kochiabolo tribe (65.7 ha, 109 members); (iv) Uluna-Sutahuri tribe (29.9 ha, 537 members) and (v) Viurulingi tribe (14 ha, 4 members). Some of the registered members of landowning tribes live near the Core Land, and many do not. While landowning tribes have a strong connection to the Core Land, these lands do not provide an important contribution to the income or livelihoods of any of the land owners or people living nearby.

The five landowning tribes were identified through a comprehensive statutory land identification process, which is described in detail in the Land Acquisition and Livelihoods Restoration Plan (LALRP). This process was led by the Bahomea Land Identification Committee (BLIC), a self-initiated community-led committee comprised of chiefs, elders and traditional knowledge holders (“storytellers”). Nine tribes submitted claims to the Core Land area, and after thorough review of customary evidence (e.g. oral histories; legends; genealogy; custom stories and the whereabouts of boundary markers such as landscape features, special trees and tambu sites), five tribes were identified as the customary land owners. Four of these tribes were identified by BLIC, and a fifth was identified by the Commissioner of Lands. The results of the BLIC process were reviewed and endorsed by all 27 tribes claiming an interest in the Tina River catchment area. The fact that none of the BLIC members ended up being from one of the land-owning tribes identified by the BLIC further confirmed the validity of the findings.

While a compulsory process was used, the acquisition of the Core Land was contingent on first obtaining the consent of the landowning tribes. This consent was obtained through the negotiation and signing of Process Agreements. The Process Agreements were negotiated over a period of several months prior to compulsory acquisition in August 2014. Approximately six rounds of negotiation were held with each tribe, and each tribe was provided with funding for a lawyer to provide independent legal support throughout the negotiation period. The negotiation process, public disclosure and terms of the Process Agreements are provided in more detail in the LALRP. The value of expected income from commercial timber extraction was included in the compensation offer.

The Government is in the process of establishing the Tina Core Land Company (TCLC), which will be jointly owned by the SIG and landowning tribes thus allowing the tribes to maintain ownership interest in the land. The Project will enter into a lease agreement with TCLC for use of the Core Land through which the Government and the landowning tribes will receive royalties and lease payments. The mechanism for distribution of these payments among registered tribe members is detailed in the Process Agreements signed by seven signatories of each tribe. Upon de-commissioning of the Project, the land will be returned to the tribal landowners and the TCLC will cease to exist.

In addition to land owners, the LALRP also considers those who use the Core Land for hunting, gathering of non-timber and timber forest products and agricultural activities. At the time of acquisition, private assets within the Core Land (e.g. nut and fruit trees and gardens) were also identified. Compensation for these assets, in line with the requirements of PS5, has been completed with details provided in the LALRP.

Through a similar land identification process, it was established that the rainfall gauging site (less than 0.05 ha) is owned by the Uluna-Sutahuri tribe. Instead of acquisition, for this site, the tribe agreed to a process of formal land registration, and then a lease agreement with the Project for the use of the land.

The northern infrastructure corridor is on registered land and is primarily for the Lot 1 road (though a section of Lot 1 that runs through customary land is included in the Core Land) and a section of the transmission line easement. It comprises the existing Black Post Road, as well as land adjacent to the road to accommodate road corridor widening and improvements and the transmission line. Four parcels of registered land will be affected (including one already owned by SIG). Affected parcels of land were acquired through a voluntary purchase arrangement, which is detailed in the LALRP.

Economic displacement for the northern infrastructure corridor will affect 34 people, of which 22 live near the Project (19 in Magnakiki and 3 in Antioch) and 12 live at the northern end of the road near the Black Post junction. Compensation will be carried out in line with the LALRP.

The proposed 66 kV transmission line will have a 50 m easement and run through the Core Land to Lot 1 access road. It will then run approximately 10 km along the Lot 1 access road before turning off the road for 12 km toward the Lungga power station. No physical displacement will be required for the construction of the transmission line. Within the Core Land, the land for the transmission line was acquired as described above as part of the Core Land acquisition process. The 22 km section of the line outside of the Core Land is all on registered land. The 10 km along the road was acquired by the Project as part of the northern infrastructure corridor. The remaining 12 km will be acquired by Solomon Power as an easement on the landowners’ title. Consultation has been undertaken with landowners, and none have expressed opposition to the easement. Solomon Power has identified that in addition to landowners, there are some illegal squatters along the 12 km route. Squatters assets (e.g. crops, gardens, structures) within the proposed easement will be identified and compensated as per the requirements of PS 5.

The exact site of the construction camp has yet to be identified; however, the Project is considering a site adjacent to the Lot 1 access road near the Black Post junction. This site under consideration is already owned by SIG, and therefore, a further land acquisition process is not required. To confirm that the site for the camp is acquired in line with the requirements of PS 5, THL will prepare a report documenting the land acquisition process for the worker accommodation camp (ESAP item).

 

Resettlement and Livelihood Restoration Planning and Implementation:

A LALRP was developed for the Core Land, monitoring site and northern infrastructure corridor in 2017 in line with the World Bank’s Operational Policy (OP) 4.12 Involuntary Resettlement. While the LALRP was developed after acquisition, which took place in 2014, it details the process followed during the acquisition. Implementation of the LALRP will ensure that compensation and related measures to address impacts associated with land acquisition are undertaken in compliance with OP 4.12. Compliance with OP 4.12 will ensure that the outcomes of resettlement are consistent with the objectives of PS5. The LALRP was developed using baseline household surveys; inventories of timber and other livelihood assets; and through a series of consultations, including participatory village workshops; surveys of women; semi-structured interviews with local leaders; and meetings with government authorities and civil society organizations. Since almost all the project beneficiaries and affected people are indigenous (as defined by OP 4.10 and PS7), the elements of an Indigenous Peoples’ Plan were mainstreamed throughout the LALRP. The grievance redress mechanism prepared by the EPC will include a mechanism to identify and provide compensation in line with the LALRP in case of accidental (unplanned) damage to private and community land assets outside of the acquired land (ESAP item).

Solomon Power has indicated that they will prepare a LALRP, that is consistent with the requirements of PS5 for the acquisition of the 12 km section of the transmission line that is not already covered by the LALRP for the Core Land and northern infrastructure corridor.

 

PS6:  Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resource

 

Protection and Conservation of Biodiversity:

The Project will affect approximately 31 ha of potentially critical habitat (undisturbed forest and riparian vegetation) and will also have impacts on both terrestrial and aquatic natural habitat. The main impacts related to the terrestrial ecosystem will be: (i) clearing of approximately 115 ha of land; (ii) temporary disturbance to terrestrial flora and fauna, as a result of construction works; and (iii) induced impacts (i.e. improved access for local people and visitors to the upper, less disturbed reaches of the Tina watershed; introduction of invasive species). The main potential project impacts on the aquatic ecosystem will be: (iv) 2.6 km of river changed from free-flowing river to a lacustrine environment (reservoir) upstream of the dam; (v) barrier effect / impediment of the dam to aquatic connectivity including upstream fish movement; (vi) change in aquatic habitat quality from reduced river flows along the 5.7 km diversion reach (dam to tailrace outlet); (vii) potential entrainment of fish at the intake, and (viii) alteration of the natural sediment regime.

The Tina River watershed where the Project is situated is comprised of forested and non-forested ecosystems, which for the most part represents a mix of modified and natural habitats. The level of disturbance increases with distance downstream in the catchment. The upper Tina River catchment (above 400 masl), upstream of the dam site, is dominated by undisturbed montane forests, whereas, the dam site and area downstream of the dam site is dominated by disturbed lowland forests modified by extensive logging and semi-commercial timber operations, as well as gardens and habitation clearings. Disturbed areas such as Black Post Road, and the proposed access road and transmission line corridor, are colonized by invasive plant species.

The Project will follow the mitigation hierarchy to avoid and reduce their impacts on biodiversity, including environmental flow release and a trap and haul system at the dam to facilitate fish migration, monitoring of fish presence and movements, and adaptive management as deemed necessary to achieve No Net Loss / Net Gain of biodiversity within the project area.

The Project, including areas of inundation during operation, access and construction activity, will be largely located in areas of disturbed forest and modified grassland with extensive and ongoing anthropogenic change; however, some undisturbed forest will also be affected. As indicated above, Project construction will result in clearing approximately 115 ha of land, comprised of undisturbed forest (9 ha), disturbed forest (30 ha), remnant forests (12 ha), riparian vegetation (22 ha), cliff vegetation (16 ha) and fallow brushland (6 ha). The Project footprint represents a small proportion of the overall Tina catchment – less than 3% of land. In the context of the assemblage of terrestrial vegetation communities and the wildlife habitats they provide, the ESIA indicates that this permanent loss within the Tina River catchment is not considered to be significant.

 

Critical Habitat:

A Critical Habitat Assessment (CHA) was undertaken by an independent biodiversity consultant in May 2017, and publicly disclosed on the TRHD website in August 2017. The CHA indicated that the montane forest (above 400 masl) in the Tina River watershed is classified as critical habitat as it forms part of a globally unique ecosystem with a unique assemblage of species. The pristine montane forests found in the upper Tina River catchment will not be directly affected by the Project; however, there are areas of undisturbed lowland forest that appear to qualify as Critical Habitat (as defined by PS6) by virtue of being part of this globally unique ecosystem; riparian forests were also considered critical habitat on a precautionary basis. As indicated above, approximately 9 ha of undisturbed lowland forest and 22 ha of riparian forest will be affected by the Project. Project impacts on Critical Habitat, then, total just over 31 ha, or about 0.3% of Critical Habitat within the catchment. While this affected habitat is classified as critical on a precautionary basis, there is no evidence of any species present that would qualify the Project area as Critical Habitat.

The CHA concludes that Project impacts on Critical Habitat (i.e. undisturbed and riparian forest) will be small and not considered significant. Regardless, THL will be required to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) in line with PS6 (ESAP item) with the objective of achieving net gain of those biodiversity values for which the critical habitat was designated including measures such as protected set-asides, restoration of areas temporarily disturbed, and offsets in the form of rehabilitation of modified habitat. Project induced impacts present a higher risk to both natural and critical habitat. Through construction of an access road and development of a reservoir, the Project will increase the potential for access by local people and visitors to the upper, less disturbed reaches of the Tina watershed. To mitigate this potential impact, THL and the EPC contractor, with the support of the TCLC will restrict access (including preventing commercial logging traffic) to the upper Tina River catchment via the project access road. In addition to the Biodiversity Action Plan, the EPC contractor will prepare a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) to incorporate biodiversity management measures into day to day Project management, including wildlife management measures to protect fauna that may pass through or reside in the project footprint, such as prohibition of hunting and on-call experts to assist in relocations. The BMP will also include detailed management provisions to mitigate the impacts of both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.

 

Natural Habitat:

Tina River also contains a diverse fish community with 59 species of fish recorded during the ESIA studies within the Tina/ Ngalimbiu River system, from the upstream catchment area to the mouth of the river. No endemic, range-restricted or endangered fish species were identified during ESIA studies. ESIA studies further indicate that the upper Tina River is a highly valued aquatic natural habitat but is not a critical habitat for fish species identified to date in Guadalcanal. 

Native fish species encountered in inland fresh water are migratory species with a life cycle that alternates between ocean and river. The upper Tina River currently plays an important role in fish life cycle, but as fish do not show natal stream homing, studies indicate that the Tina River is not essential as juveniles will colonize any rivers to which they can gain access; and the mouth of Ngalimbiu River is more critical to the life cycle of most fish species than upstream areas, as it is the only entry point to all fish that live within the catchment.

Given the paucity of information available on fish in Guadalcanal, it is possible that monitoring undertaken prior to and during construction will identify species new to science or endemic and / or range-restricted, which could potentially result in qualifying Tina River as Critical Habitat. In the event that Tina River classifies as Critical Habitat mitigation measures will be revised in line with the BAP and BMP to avoid a net residual loss and ensure net gain to the species populations or habitats (as per ESAP).

The cretion of the reservoir will replace about 2.6 km of riverine habitat with a reservoir with an average width of approximately 118 m at full supply. There are very few lakes on Guadalcanal, so it is not known what riverine fish species will take up residence in the newly formed lake with its lacustrine environment.

During operations, flow in the 5.7 km reach of river that is bypassed by the headrace tunnel will be reduced from a median of 11.1 m3/s to an environmental flow of 1 m3/s. The environmental flow was determined using a habitat suitability approach (i.e. the flow required to provide an adequate amount of suitable habitat for the fish species in the river and to enable fish to move up the by-passed section of the river to the base of the dam). The habitat suitability approach modelled suitability criteria for 8 common species as determined from an instream habitat survey, information of habitat use by the various fish species and an understanding of the broad ecological requirements of the genera of fish present in the river. The results of the model indicated that an environmental flow of 1 m3/s will be sufficient to avoid damage to the aquatic ecosystem in the dewatered stretch.

 

As mentioned earlier, the powerhouse will maintain a minimum discharge of 2.4 m3/s and an additional 1 m3/s is anticipated to flow into the river from tributaries between the dam and powerhouse resulting in a minimum flow downstream of the tailrace of 4.4 m3/s (including the 1 m3/s environmental flow).

During the dry season, peaking operation of the powerhouse could mean that flows fluctuate between 18 m3/s and 4.4 m3/s on an almost daily basis. As the maximum flow from the generators (18 m3/s) is relatively low compared to the magnitude of floods during the wet season, it is unlikely that fish habitat will be affected by hydro-peaking. Sudden reductions in water level can strand fish, and therefore, an adaptive management approach will be undertaken to determine whether ramping flows are needed to mitigate potential fish stranding.

The requirements for minimum flows and provisions in the design to move migrating fish past the dam will be incorporated in the BMP and will contribute to no net loss of biodiversity in the aquatic ecosystem.

The dam and reservoir, and to some extent the associated by-passed section of the Tina River, will represent a barrier to the upstream and downstream migration of all native fish species that currently use the river system upstream of the dam site. An extensive examination of alternative technologies to enable fish migrating upstream to pass the dam, led to the conclusion that a trap-and-haul system, in combination with the proposed environmental flow of 1m3/s, is considered the only potentially viable system to ensure fish can continue to migrate upstream. If necessary, this would be further augmented by netting swimming species of fish as they congregate in the mouth of the river or at the base of the dam, for transport and release above the dam. The proposed mitigation would be undertaken using an adaptive environmental management approach. This approach would evaluate the effectiveness of the system and look at other means of ensuring upstream fish passage, in the event that a trap-and-haul system is not successful.

Fish mortality in the powerhouse turbines is also a potential impact, as fish become entrained into the power intake of the reservoir and are conveyed to the turbines via the headrace tunnel and penstocks. Mortality of upstream migrating juvenile fish would also occur if they are attracted to the outflow of the powerhouse and then climb into the turbines. Fish screens will also be installed at the power intake structure to prevent entrainment of fish species during downstream migration and a fish barrier will be installed at the powerhouse tailrace to prevent entrainment of upstream migrating juvenile fish.

At present, a large amount of sediment is transported through the steep, relatively narrow section of river between the dam and powerhouse sites. The movement of sediment during floods and in the deeper swifter areas of the river at normal flows reduces algal growth, benthic invertebrate production and fish habitat. The creation of a dam will prevent much of this sediment movement and will gradually coarsen the substrate. This will potentially improve the fish habitat, as the habitat observations showed a clear preference for coarse substrate and avoidance of deep swift water where sand was being transported along the riverbed.

Ecosystem Services: Tina River provides important ecosystem services to communities in its valley. It provides water for drinking, bathing, washing, recreation (including recreational fishing as fish is not a major source of protein for communities near the River), and transport of logs. Its valley is also a corridor for foot traffic among villages. Changes in quantity and quality of water will adversely affect these ecosystem services. Mitigation measures are primarily linked to the management plans listed previously (e.g. Drainage, Erosion and Sediment Control; Reservoir Operation and Management Plan; Communication plan) as well as provision of temporary or permanent alternative water supplies for villages where diminished flow and construction impacts on quality curtail residents’ use of river water; maintenance of environmental flows; and provision of a trap and haul fish passage system. The PO will work with the local community to develop suitable alternative arrangements for log transport.

Legally Protected and Internationally Recognized Areas: There are no formal protected areas or proposed protected areas that could be affected by the Project. Informal protection of small, natural sites, known as Tambu sites is provided by the local population, protecting these areas in a traditional manner.

THL will develop the following monitoring plans: aquatic life, flora and fauna (which includes monitoring of invasive species) and fish, algae and macro-invertebrate before land clearing. Each monitoring plan will identify the parameter being monitored, how it will be monitored, frequency and responsibility for monitoring. These monitoring plans will feed into a Biodiversity Monitoring and Evaluation Program (BMEP) as part of the BMP, with metrics and key performance indicators to demonstrate no net loss/ net gain and establish thresholds for monitoring results that will trigger a need to adapt the management plans to address any deficiencies in no net loss/ net gain performance.

Monitoring plans will take into account key areas of monitoring necessary to assess changes in the potentially Critical Habitat-qualifying ecosystems and species. Monitoring results will be used to determine the effectiveness of BMP and BAP measures, and adaptive measures will be developed and implemented as required.

 

PS7:  Indigenous Peoples

Project affected people, including members of the landholding tribes, people affected by land acquisition and residents of the nearby villages, are almost all indigenous as defined by OP 4.10 and PS7. Project impact on indigenous people include loss of land, including timber resources, nut and fruit trees and wild food stocks, and temporary loss of access to traditional hunting, fishing and gatherig areas. As mentioned earlier, the Project acquired 429 ha of customarily owned land from 5 tribes comprised of approximately 900 members. An additional 36 people will be affected by land acquisition for the northern infrastructure corridor. Indigenous people will also be affected by traffic, noise and water quality impacts from construction.

Circumstances requiring free, prior and informed consent:

MIGA PS7 requires a process of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in cases where there are impacts on land and natural resources subject to traditional ownership or under customary use, i.e. acquisition of customarily owned land. While FPIC was not formally required by WB OP 4.10 or by SIG, land acquisition and the development of the LALRP and Community Development Plan (CDP) were undertaken following a process of informed consultation and participation leading to consent from the affected indigenous people. The Project sought consent from all 27 tribes with an interest in the Tina River catchment prior to starting site investigations and studies, and once ownership of the Core Land was determined, the Project went through an extensive process of consultation and negotiation to obtain signed Process Agreements, which confirmed the indigenous owners consent to the Project.

 

Mitigation and Development Benefits:

As almost all of the Project affected people are considered indigenous, a separate Indigenous Peoples’ Plan (IPP) was not developed for the Project. Instead, key elements of an IPP, which includes that (a) indigenous peoples affected by the Project receive culturally appropriate social and economic benefits and (b) when potential adverse effects on indigenous peoples are identified, those adverse effects are avoided, minimized, mitigated or compensated for, were mainstreamed into project design and documentation including the ESIA, LALRP and CDP.

Together, the ESIA, the LALRP and the CDP document the IPP elements in project design including: (i) summary of legal and institutional framework, and baseline data, as relating to Indigenous Peoples in the project context; (ii) social assessment; (iii) summary of consultations with Indigenous Peoples communities; (iv) actions to ensure that Indigenous Peoples receive culturally appropriate social and/or economic benefits; (v) identification of actions to address any adverse impacts on Indigenous Peoples communities; (vi) cost estimates and financing plan for implementing actions or activities; (vii) culturally appropriate grievance and monitoring and evaluation procedures.

 

PS8: Cultural Heritage

Protection of Cultural Heritage in Project Design and Execution:

There are no cultural heritage sites within the project study area that are formally protected under the Guadalcanal Historic Places Ordinance 1985. The ESIA did not identify critical cultural sites or relics within the project area that cannot be relocated, or compensated for, if disturbed or destroyed. However, there are a number of sacred sites (known as tambu sites) located within or near the Project area. Sacred sites may be owned by, or have particular importance to individual groups or clans, and underpin notions of identity and land ownership. Knowledge of the location and meaning of tambu places can, therefore, be a proof of land ownership. Thus, the information can be highly confidential, and a result, while information was collected during the ESIA process, only limited information is provided in the ESIA document.

The EPC contractor will follow the chance find procedure, which is included in the Cultural Heritage Management Plan to be prepared by the PO (ESAP item). Once the exact Project footprint is identified, the PO will survey these areas for the presence of tambu or other cultural heritage sites and will mitigate and / or provide compensation for losses of cultural heritage sites in line with the LALRP. These activities will be undertaken in conjunction with authorities of the Ministry of Culture, and the National Museum.

Environmental Permitting: The Solomon Islands Environment Act 1998, requires than an Environmental Impact Assessment is carried out in the project planning stage prior to implementation. THL as the project developer is required to submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in line with the Environmental Regulations 2008 to the Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) of MECDM which will evaluate the EIS for the project, conduct community consultation and issue the Development Consent for the Project after approval of the EIS. THL is required to apply for and hold the Development Consent and will be responsible for compliance under the Act. In addition. THL’s final stand-alone ESMPs are intended to form part of the conditions of the Development Consent. As discussed under PS1, MMERE completed an ESIA in 2017. This was subsequently updated by THL in April 2019 to become the statutory EIS, which has been submitted to MECDM for approval.  Approval of the EIS is currently pending.

Community Engagement: The PO has been engaged in communication with local communities since 2011. The PO planned and implemented a stakeholder engagement program which included among others (i) development of a stakeholder engagement plan; (ii) informative meetings prior to start of project activities; (iii) establishment of community liaison assistants; (iv) community awareness meetings. The PO implemented a sustained program of community consultation during project planning. As the focus of the project shifted to contract negotiations, stakeholder engagement activities subsided in 2018 and community and landowner engagement focused on smaller group meetings with the PO. As activities are ramping up following signing of the PPA, stakeholder engagements will follow suit. The PO has engaged an additional community liaison officer who will also act as the gender focal point for the project who will join the CLO previously involved in the project.

The two CLOs, together with the Health and Safety Officer, will conduct monthly awareness sessions to inform communities in the project area of the project activities throughout construction and early operation phase of the Project. THL will in addition prepare and implement a Stakeholder Engagement and Communications plan that will govern the community engagement activities of THL and their contractors. THL’s E&S team will be responsible for overseeing and implementation of the stakeholder engagement and communications plan.

 

MIGA supports its clients (as defined in MIGA Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability) in addressing environmental and social issues arising from their business activities by requiring them to set up and administer appropriate grievance mechanisms and/or procedures to address complaints from Affected Communities.

In addition, Affected Communities have unrestricted access to the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman (CAO), the independent accountability mechanism for MIGA. The CAO is mandated to address complaints from people affected by MIGA-guaranteed business activities in a manner that is fair, objective, and constructive, with the goal of improving environmental and social project outcomes and fostering greater public accountability of MIGA.

Independent of MIGA management and reporting directly to the World Bank Group President, the CAO works to resolve complaints using a flexible, problem-solving approach through its dispute resolution arm and oversees project-level audits of MIGA’s environmental and social performance through its compliance arm.

Complaints may relate to any aspect of MIGA-guaranteed business activities that is within the mandate of the CAO. They can be made by any individual, group, community, entity, or other party affected or likely to be affected by the environmental or social impacts of a MIGA-guaranteed business activity. Complaints can be submitted to the CAO in writing to the address below:

 

Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman
International Finance Corporation
2121 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Room F11K-232
Washington, DC 20433 USA
Tel: 1 202 458 1973
Fax: 1 202 522 7400
E-mail:
cao-compliance@ifc.org

 

[1] The GHG emissions were calculated using the International Finance Institutions GHG accounting framework (2015) which utilizes harmonized emission factors.

The documentation listed below is available electronically as PDF attachments to this ESRS at www.miga.org

The documentation is also available on the following websites and locations:

  • WBG website:

http://projects.worldbank.org/P161319/?lang=en&tab=documents&subTab=projectDocuments

  • Tina River Hydro Development Project c/o Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Second Floor, Hyundai Mall PO Box G37 Honiara Solomon Islands

For additional information, please contact:

  • Tina Hydropower Limited, P.O 419, 2nd floor, Alvaro 2.0, Mendana Avenue, Honiara