Business

FEA denies consumer watchdog’s claim

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. Fiji Electricity Authority’s chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel yesterday confirmed that the water level at Monsavu was neither low nor high and he also
02 Jan 2009 12:00

Written By : SUN FIJI NEWSROOM. Fiji Electricity Authority’s chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel yesterday confirmed that the water level at Monsavu was neither low nor high and he also denied that they had been hoodwinking consumers.
Mr Patel was responding to comments by the Consumer Council of Fiji chief executive officer Premila Kumar that the FEA was not relaying the full and factual information to consumers regarding the energy crisis in 2008.
He said the low water level at Monasavu dam had nothing to do with the maintenance of the dam.
“The fact is that we have not had adequate rainfall and as we continue to use water for generation the outflows are more than the inflows and as a result the level will naturally come down faster than we want,’’ he said.
He said the water level was above the critical level due to below average rainfall in the month of December in Monasavu.
Mr Patel said more would be expected this month and next month to increase the water level in the dam.
Ms Kumar earlier claimed that Mr Patel had been lamenting about the dire energy situation the country would experience if the water level at the Monasavu dam fell below the acceptable level.
“The council fails to understand why Mr Patel expects the dam to indicate low water level, as according to the Fiji Meteorological Services Climate Summary Report for November 2008 the dam area received average rainfall in the last months between August to November 2008,’’ she said.
Mr Patel said the average rainfall experienced in Monasavu in the past six years for the month of November had been 500 millimetres. However, only 200mm of rain fell in Monasavu in the month of November 2008.
“That is 50per cent of the average for the past six weeks,’’ he said.
“The Met Department had predicted below average rainfall for the month of November till December.
“Firstly there is very minimal maintenance that needs to be carried out at the Monasavu dam on an annual basis. Secondly the Commerce Commission has never stated that the Monasavu dam has been neglected by the FEA as far as maintenance goes”.
He said the Consumer Council also highlighted a $2 million loss because five megawatt generation deficits with Monasavu hydro dam overflows.
Mr Patel said the Monasavu /Wailoa Power Statiomn were commissioned in 1983 with a gross installed capacity of 80 megawatts.
“As water travels down the tunnel from the dam to the power station there is always friction loss in the tunnels and there is also internal auxiliary usage at the power station,’’ he said.




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