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New hydro power churns

September 15
09:01 2012

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama with stakeholders at Fiji Electricity Authority’s Nadarivatu Hydroelectric Scheme yesterday, including representatives from builders SINOHYDRO, of China. Inside today: A 16-page liftout on the project, including a special message by the Prime Minister. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

PM: Nadarivatu will not
be a repeat of Monasavu

By JYOTI PRATIBHA

There will not be a repeat of what Monasavu landowners went through when they leased their lands to the Fiji Electricity Authority for the construction of the Monasavu dam.
This was the assurance by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama at the commissioning of the Nadarivatu Hydro-Electric Scheme, at Nadarivatu highlands in the interior of Viti Levu yesterday.
Commodore Bainimarama said when the first dam in the country was commissioned at Monasavu in 1983, village communities were overlooked.
“In our programme to connect all Fijians we must do so without discrimination. When Monasavu was commissioned, many of the communities in the surrounding areas were ironically and tragically left unconnected. The power that was generated by that first dam went right past them. Many were only connected during the last few years under my Government.
“This anomaly will not be the case in Nadarivatu. All the surrounding areas have already been connected. Denying Fijians the electricity generated in their own backyards will no longer be the case,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
He stated that one of the primary objectives of Government had been to lift the standards of living for all Fijians.
“This dam will generate 100 million units of electricity a year that will power our progress—extending power lines to homes in the villages, in the farming areas, in the cities, and to businesses everywhere.”
This hydro-electric project has been constructed at a cost of around US$150 million. Funding for this project was sourced from China Development Bank, ANZ Fiji, Bank of the South Pacific Fiji and FEA’s internal funds.
The project, undertaken by the Sinohydro Corporation from China, has taken three and a half years to complete.
“At today’s prices this dam will save Fijians about F$42m per year in the importation of diesel fuel.”
Commodore Bainimarama also assured that progress and modernisation would not be at the cost of damaging our environment.
“The new energy created by this dam is clean energy.  My Government together with FEA is committed to developing clean, renewable and affordable sources of energy. Nadarivatu is the latest achievement in our objective to meet our goal of providing 90 per cent of all our energy requirements through renewable energy sources by the year 2015,” he said.
This will not only reduce the deficit in our balance of payments position but ensure that our environment is protected by reducing green house emissions and contribute to the global effort of mitigating risks of climate change and environmental degradation.
Commodore Bainiamarama acknowledged the work done by the Sinohydro Corporation and the consulting engineers- MWH of New Zealand.
“Nadarivatu today symbolises our collective efforts to move Fiji forward for the benefit of all Fijians,” he said.
Sinohydro Corporation representative Liu Mingjiang said the completion of the Nadarivatu Renewable Energy Project was not only a typical example of the co-orperation between Fiji and China but also an important achievement in Fiji’s national electricity construction sector.
“The launch of the power station will provide clean renewable energy at about 101 gigawatt hours annually, which will effectively relieve the condition of short supply in Fiji and play an active role in promoting Fiji’s economic and social development,” he said.

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