Established in VANUATU since 1939, over the years UNELCO has become a professional and innovative company.

1934 : Jehan Brieuc Morault explores the potential for installing an electricity network in Port Vila.

1939 : 1st  concession agreement for a period of 40 years covering Port Vila

1941 : Commissioning of the first diesel power station equipped with 2 Baudouin generators, 20 and 32 kW respectively.

1960 : UNELCO supplies approximately 400,000 kWh to its 300 customers with a peak output of 145 kW. Within 10 years, the peak output increased to 680 kW and the energy consumption to 2.5 million kWh for 680 customers.

1976 : The New Hebrides authorities award UNELCO an extension of its contract for 10 years.

1986 : A new concession agreement is negotiated with the Government of Vanuatu for a period of 15 years.

1987 : Following the country’s accession to independence, the company changed from SA (Société Anonyme or corporation) to SARL (Société Anonyme à Responsabilité Limitée or limited liability company). The company name was changed to UNELCO - UNION ELECTRIQUE DU VANUATU LIMITED.

1990 : Establishment of a 2nd operation in Santo with the take-over of the thermal power station from the Compagnie Electrique de Santo and the associated concession agreement for a term of 20 years. The Government acquires 9.5% shareholding in the capital of UNELCO.

1994 : UNELCO is awarded the contract for the supply of water in Port Vila. The Government increases its shareholding in UNELCO to 14.40%. Water is supplied through a pumping station.

1995 : Management of the Sarakata hydro-power station (Santo) for and on behalf of the Government, comprising two 300 kW turbines, a project that was funded by Japan (JICA).

1995 : Launching of the first ‘cross-country run’ known as La Piste Bleue

1998 : Construction of the Tagabe power station in Port Vila, with a total output of 8 000 kW.

2000 : The Government awards two further concessions to UNELCO, being Tanna and Malekula, for a term of 20 years.

2002 : The Government withdraws from its shareholding in UNELCO.

Commissioning of the Tanna power station (11 April 2002)

2005 : First use of bio-fuel with 5% coconut oil.

2007 : confirmation  of the use of bio-fuel with 15% coconut oil.

8 June 2007 : Commissioning of the first wind engine on a trial basis (275 kVA) on the Kawene plateau at Devil’s Point.

14 June 2007 : Thanks to its use of coconut oil as a source of fuel, UNELCO is awarded the « Trophée de l’Innovation de ENGIE » (ENGIE Innovation Trophy), for its contribution to one of the major objectives of the Group, namely : innovating new generation resources with minimum environmental impact.

May 2008 : launching of a rural electrification pilot project for supplying a village, Port Orly (Santo), using renewable energy based on coconut oil.

October 2008 : Commissioning of the windfarm at Devil’s Point with 11 wind-engines, Vergnet make, (with a total output of 3 025 KVA). This power station can produce 15% of the power consumption in the Port Vila concession.

September 2008 : Establishment of the Utilities Regulatory Authority pursuant to the URA Act 2007.

May 2011 : Implementation of a tariff review following the decision of an arbitration tribunal in Melbourne. The price of electricity decreased by 7.1%.

May 2009 : the power station on Malekula generates electricity using 100% coconut oil.

2010 : Confirmation of the use of bio-fuel at a ratio of 30% coconut oil at the Tagabe power station.

January 2011 : The Government does not renew the concession agreement for UNELCO in Luganville and awards a new company, VUI (Vanuatu Utilities & Infrastructure), an operating and maintenance contract for a period of 8 months.

First solar power generating units commissioned at Tagabe (May 2011), on Tanna (October 2011), and in Malekula (December 2012).

October 2011 : UNELCO wins the trophy for Best Producer and Supplier of Water in the Pacific (benchmarking performance).

July 2011 : Extension of the concession areas for the Tanna and Malekula operations.

September 2012 : Extension of the concession area of Port Vila to the whole of Efate Island.

October 2012 :

26% of the electricity generated in that month for Port Vila is derived from renewable energy sources. A record was achieved in August 2012 for electricity generated from renewable energy sources.

20% is the share of renewable energy used to generate electricity supplied to the customers of UNELCO in Port Vila commencing August 2012.


  • 20% since August 2012 (in fact 19.51% since August 2012) for the period from August 2012 to April 2013.
  • 15% was achieved with coconut oil in April 2013.


BP 26 Port-Vila

Tel : 26000