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FEA To Replace Main Inlet Valve Over Weekend At Wailoa Station

FEA To Replace Main Inlet Valve Over Weekend At Wailoa Station
Fiji Electricity Authority Chief Executive Officer, Hasmukh Patel. Photo: VILIMONI VAGANALAU
March 22
10:23 2016

The Fiji Electricity Authority, over the Easter Weekend, will be replacing the main inlet valve at the Wailoa Power Station.

As a result, the Monasavu Hydro Scheme and the Wailoa Power Station will be shut off during the Easter period.

The FEA will be relying mainly on diesel power stations throughout Viti Levu.

This is part of the Monasavu Hydro Half Life Refurbishment Programme, announced Fiji Electricity Authority chief executive, Hasmukh Patel, during a press conference yesterday.

“It’s a very big valve. The ones currently installed and in operation have been there since the construction of the Monasavu Hydro Scheme and the Wailoa Power Station,” he said.

“So those valves are having been in operation for 32-33 years. We have decided to change the first valve.”

Mr Patel said there are four valves but the other three will be refurbished.

Mr Patel confirmed each valve costs about $4.5 million.

For Viti Levu customers, the exercise of changing the valves will commence on Thursday March 24 at 9.30pm.

Mr Patel said before they can start changing the valve, they have to take out all the water that is in the tunnel.

“So we will be closing the gate and then using the amount of water in the tunnel that comes to the power station, we will run the machine,” he said.

To empty the tunnel will take about 10 hours and this FEA intends to commence this exercise about 9.30pm and is hoping by 7.30am on Friday, the tunnel would be empty.

Mr Patel said once its empty, then it will enable them to start working on the old valve, removing and replacing it with the new valve.

“It’s a fairly laborious exercise and it could take anything up to three to five days,” he said.


Other power stations

Meanwhile, Mr Patel further confirmed they will also be using Wainikasau and Nadarivatu Hydro Scheme over the weekend.

In addition, all the remaining diesel generators will be used to meet the demand of Viti Levu customers.

At the same time, Mr Patel announced they do not expect any power sharing or load sharing over the weekend.

However, it has cautioned that in the event one of the big diesel generator sets or the hydro power station goes out of service for some reason, some customers could expect power outage.

“In this event, we will try to put it back in service as soon as possible,” he said.

The maintenance is expected to finish around Monday afternoon and back in service by Tuesday.


Saturday power outage

Meanwhile, Mr Patel said the Saturday power outage was due to Wailoa Power Station getting damaged during cyclone Winston.

But he said the problem is now fixed.

Edited by: RACHNA LAL


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