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Use Power Wisely: FEA

Use Power Wisely: FEA
Nasinu Muslim College Principal Recognition Award recipient Ratu Sairusi Ragogo with his teacher, Reshmita Lata following the school annual prize giving ceremony on November 16, 2017.Photo: Ronald Kumar.
October 02
09:13 2014

Please use power wisely.

This is the message from the Fiji Electricity Authority to customers as the prolonged dry spell continues to impact its fossil fuel bill, the highest in FEA’s history.

FEA chief executive Hasmukh Patel said despite its fossil fuel expenditure being around $18 million per month since Q2, no costs were and would be incurred to customers.

Mr Patel said, at press conference yesterday, they had taken all the necessary steps to address the issue.

“Presently, the Monasavu Dam is around 724.65 metres above sea level. We have about nine to 10 metres available before it reaches the critical level,” Mr Patel said.

“The reason we still have nine or ten metres of water available at Monasavu for power generation is because in the last six months, right from April to September, FEA has changed its power generation mix in favour of fossil fuels.”

This methodology is mitigating the problem of having the water catchment at a critical low, which is, below 715 metres.

“The message to our customers is we are in a situation whereby we still have some amount of water for power generation.

“But because we are having a huge fuel bill and which is resulting in losses for FEA we are appealing to our customers to use power very wisely.”

FEA’s current fossil fuel reliance is 67-68 per cent while about 30 per cent on hydro power generation. The remainder has been from its independent power producers (IPP), that is, Tropik Woods Industries Limited and the Fiji Sugar Corporation.

Its contingency plan which it set out early this year, that is, installing 40MW of containerised diesel plant, was well underway with the final commissioning to be complete next week.

Given its completion, Mr Patel added they would be able to maintain Monasavu’s current water level even further.

“So we’re talking about a good 25 to 30 units that we have purchased and in the last three to four months we have been installing these diesel units throughout Fiji.”

These include Nadi, Sigatoka, Qeleloa and on the Rokobili site in Walu Bay which would be commissioned by next week. All in all, this has cost FEA $35 million.

“When we run that 40MW, it’s going to cost us more money in fuel and we anticipate that our fuel bill a month from now could rise to around $24 million a month.”

Despite all this, Mr Patel also assured that power will be not be rationed when compared to what the Water Authority of Fiji was doing water closures in parts of the country.

Mr Patel was confident the recent humidity felt now was a sign of rains to fall and urged customers to pray for the ‘heavens to open’ in these critical times.

Feedback:  ranobab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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