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Repairs And Restoration To The FEA Power Infrastructure

Repairs And Restoration To The FEA Power Infrastructure
FEA chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel.
March 20
10:00 2016

Repairs to the FEA power infrastructure that had sustained extensive damage from the onslaught of TC Winston continue in most parts of Fiji where there is FEA power reticulation.

The damages include and are not limited to, electricity generation assets, transmission towers and lines, sub-transmission poles and lines and the entire power distribution network around the country including electricity meters.

The FEA teams and contractors are working simultaneously on the transmission, sub-transmission and distribution lines in multiple areas in order to restore power supply.

Listed below are the damages that had been sustained by the FEA power infrastructure.

 

  1. Power generation assets

1.1.         Wailoa Power Station – Water damage to control circuits resulted in multiple unplanned outages affecting the Central Division during the early part of restoration.

Repairs were completed at 6:00am on Tuesday March 2 and supply stabilised.

1.2.         Nadi Power Station – There were damages to the building structure and temporary repairs have been undertaken on the building structure and the power station is fully operational.

Permanent repairs will be undertaken in the month ahead.

1.3.         Vuda Power Station –There were damages to the building structure and generators in the power station. Temporary repairs have been undertaken on the building structure.

Generators were water logged and repairs were completed by Wednesday February 24 and the power station is fully operational. Permanent repairs will be undertaken in the month ahead.

1.4.         Levuka Power Station – There were damages to the power station roof and generators.

Temporary repairs have been undertaken on the building structure. Generators were water logged and repairs were completed by Wednesday February 24, and the power station is fully operational.

Permanent repairs will be undertaken in the month ahead.

1.5.         Nadarivatu Camp Site – All roof structures of the camp site has been destroyed with a warehouse housing spare parts for the power station. Staff are temporarily sheltered at the Nadarivatu Power Station. Power Station is not operational due to fallen towers which are being repaired. Tenders have been called for the design of the new camp site, completion anticipated by later this year.

1.6.         Nagado Power Station – There were damages to the building structure (roofing) and roller shutter door at the power station. Repairs to the roof and roller shutter door is expected to be completed by next week. Generators were water logged and repairs were completed on Saturday 12th March and the Nagado Power Station came on-line at 8:49pm on the same day.

 

  1. Transmission assets

We have three steel lattice transmission towers that were damaged.

2.1.         Wailoa to the Western Division – A fallen tower on the Wailoa to Vuda in Lautoka transmission line had cut off power supply from the Wailoa Power Station to the Western Division.

A temporary tabular pole structure has been constructed and supply normalised. Permanent repairs still pending. A temporary tubular pole structure was constructed and the Wailoa to Vuda transmission line was energised at 4:42pm on Saturday March 5, 2016.

Power shedding (rationing) stopped in Nadi and Lautoka once this line was energised. Once full restoration is completed, tenders will be called for turnkey design and construction of a new permanent tower.

2.2.         Nadarivatu transmission – There are two fallen towers on the Nadarivatu transmission line which has cut off power supply from the Nadarivatu Hydro Power Scheme to the grid.

There has also been extensive structural damages to a third tower (T13).

We have been able to construct a temporary pole to replace T11 on Wednesday March 2, 2016. Works on T1 is expected to be completed before Wednesday March 24, 2016.

We have engaged the services of an expert to access the structural damages on T13. Full assessment is expected to be provided within the next week before necessary repairs are undertaken.

Once full restoration is completed, tenders will be called for turnkey design and construction of new permanent towers.

Fortunately, the transmission line from Wailoa to Cunningham Road in Suva remained intact and is transporting power from the Wailoa Power Station to the Central Division of Viti Levu.

 

  1. Sub-Transmission Lines

3.1.         Vuda to Rarawai 33kV Sub-transmission Line – This power line transports power from Vuda towards Ba and further into Tavua and Rakiraki. A total of 36 locations required repairs out of the 296 poles in this sub-transmission line.

Damages to these poles were as follows: 7 poles totally fallen and needed replacement, 21 were leaning and needed to be straightened, & 8 locations required repairs due to extensive damages.

Repairs had been carried out and the line has energised at 2:00pm on Thursday March 10, 2016. Permanent repairs will need to be undertaken at some locations and this will be programmed for execution at a later convenient date.

3.2.         Rarawai to Vatukoula 33kV Sub-transmission Line – This power line further transports power from Ba towards Vatukoula, Tavua and Rakiraki. Repairs were completed on this line and it was energized at 4:08pm on Tuesday 15th March, 2016.

3.3.         Wainikasou Power Line 33kV Sub-transmission Line – This power lines transports power from the Wainikasou Power Station to the Wailoa Substation and then onto the National Grid. There were 48 power poles out of 412 that required repairs/replacement.

This line was energised at 3:40pm on Wednesday March 16, 2016.

 

  1. Distribution Network

The greatest damage to our power distribution network has taken place between Lautoka to Korovou along the Kings Road and the various roads that tee-off from the Kings Road between these areas. The distribution network in Levuka has also been damaged severely.

The FEA requires additional workforce and machinery as listed below to expedite and complete repairs to the damaged power lines in these areas to restore power supply.

Power restoration is crucial as it is needed for the effective operations of other sectors such as hospitals and health centres, water & sewerage treatment plants, cities, towns and industrial areas, residential, etc.

4.1.         Repairs to the Distribution Line

There was extensive damages to the entire FEA power distribution network in the areas of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu (Labasa and Savusavu), and Ovalau.

Repairs and restoration of power supply in Labasawas completed on Tuesday March 1, 2016. The Labasa FEA team moved to Savusavu together with the Contractors to assist the teams in Savusavu on Wednesday 2nd March, 2016. Restoration in Savusavu in expected to be completed by Monday 21st March, 2016.

The Labasa and Savusavu FEA team together with contractors will then be deployed to Viti Levu to assist with repairs and restoration in the areas of Korovou (RKS, QVS and Dawasamu) and Rakiraki.

FEA teams have been working to repair and restore power supply to the main centres of Levuka which includes the Levuka Hospital, water and sewerage treatment plant, PAFCO and Levuka town as well as Delana Methodist School and Levuka Public School. Two contractors from the Central Division will be moving to Levuka this weekend to assist with power restoration.

Certain portions of the distribution network that were on the coastal front has been severely damaged and had to be redesign and will be reroute to new locations which is expected to take some time.

Restoration works are continuing in all other affected parts of Viti Levu.

The damaged components includes Power Poles, Power Lines, Cross Arms and other line hardware.

4.2.         Personnel engaged with power restoration

A total of 625 persons are directly involved in the repairs to these damages and power restoration. This includes FEA personnel, contractors, casuals, and 10 New Zealand linesman and a project manager.

We are expecting second team of 10 NZ linesman to be joining us over the Easter weekend and a third team of 10 in the first week of April, 2016.

The NZ linesman will be bringing in 2 crane trucks next week and another 2 in the first week of April, 2016 to aid with repair and restoration works.

4.3.         Repairs works carried out by licensed registered electrical contractors

We had also engaged the services of Licensed Registered Electrical Contractors to assist with repairs of the power lines.

FEA teams scope the required repair works that need to be carried out in a certain area and agree on a fixed price before works are given to any particular contractor.

These contractors are paid the agreed price upon completion of works and are not paid on a daily basis.

Once repairs are completed on the specified area, the electrical contractors can than work on other areas.

Once the distribution lines are repaired by FEA personnel and/or the nominated FEA contractors, FEA inspects these lines before it is energised.

 

  1. Service lines and retail

distribution assets

5.1.         Customer service line

Customers may also experience delays in restoration of power supply in the event of damages to their service mains or dwelling/installation.

In this case, the customer needs to get in touch with a licensed electrical contractor to assess damages, lodge a permit with FEAs Regulatory Unit and carry out the necessary repairs, at the cost of the customer.

Once repairs are complete, the electrical contractor will contact the FEA Inspectors to organise connection of power supply.

If power supply has been restored in your locality and you still do not have power and if there are no damages to your installation and/or service mains, customers should log a fault call with the FEA Contact Centre on 132 333, and a team should be able to attend to the fault as soon as practically possible.

This may take a few days depending on the magnitude of customers affected.

It is important to note that all electrical installations must be first inspected by FEA inspectors before connection to the FEA grid. This includes standby or stand-alone generators to avoid any electrical mishaps.

5.2.         Electricity meters

In many cases, especially in Western Viti Levu, household electricity meters have also been blown away and/or damaged together with the houses.

Once the distribution lines are repaired and restored and the Service lines are repaired, FEA personnel will inspect the meters and if required will replace these meters before connecting power supply.

In the event that the meter boxes are damaged, it is the responsibility of the customers to engage the services of licensed electrical contractor and have this repaired or replaced.

 

Cost of damages

Our preliminary estimate of cost of repairs and replacement to the FEA Power Infrastructure is estimated to be in the vicinity of $20m. This figure will be confirmed once full restoration has been undertaken and permanent repairs have been completed.

Source: Fiji Electricity Authority

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