Utilities of Vanuatu
Electricity in Vanuatu is mainly limited to the urban areas. In 2010 around 27 per cent of Vanuatu’s population had access to electricity. The private company UNELCO VANUATU LTD supplies power in Port Vila, Luganville, East Malekula and Tanna. In Port Villa, power generation is predominately diesel, with wind power coming from the Devils Point Wind Farm. The majority of rural areas must rely on their own power generation. There is considerable potential for the development of geothermal, wind and hydropower in Vanuatu, supported by international aid. The Vanuatu National Energy Road Map 2013–20 outlines the government’s commitment to establishing a comprehensive and consistent set of policies for the development of the energy sector and ensures that Vanuatu’s energy sector institutions and private companies collaborate to achieve sector targets and expectations by 2020. It is expected that the private sector will play a key role in the implementation and financing of major elements of the sector-wide developments.
The entire water supply infrastructure in Vanuatu is owned by the state and monitored by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities. Private company Unleco Vanuatu has a contract to provide water for Port Vila, which has been extended outside the Vila municipal boundary to the Blacksands area as part of the Unleco concession contract. In most rural areas village water committees are responsible for water supply systems. In many areas of Port Vila, and central points of Mele, solid waste collection is outsourced to a private company.
Following privatisation of the sector in 1992, Telecom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL) was established as a joint venture owned equally by the Government of Vanuatu, Cable and Wireless, and France Telecom. The company was given an exclusive license to operate all telecoms services until 2012. The Government of Vanuatu came under pressure to end TVL’s exclusive franchise prior to its 2012 end date following global moves towards liberalisation. As a result the government surrendered its shares of TVL to the other two shareholders. The Telecommunications Act was amended in 2007 to open the telecoms market fully to competition. This led to the establishment of private telecoms companies on the islands, including Digicel and Pacific Data Solutions. In 2013 the Global Symposium for Regulators consultation in Warsaw, Poland, looked at potential ways to improve the telecoms sector in Vanuatu. It was suggested that private sector initiatives and public–private partnerships should be looked at as possible solutions to address issues of affordability.