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Fiji Time: 2:14 AM on Tuesday 23 September

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FEA's crisis plans

Torika Tokalau
Saturday, April 19, 2014

THE Fiji Electricity Authority has a contingency plan in place should the water level at the Monasavu dam reach a critical stage.

Authority CEO Hasmukh Patel said the weather trend projected that the dry season from May would have a great impact on the water level at Monasavu, which, as of Thursday, stood at 734 metres, only 19m above the critical level.

"Should there be very little rainfall and the dam reaches a critical level in the next few months, then we will have no option but to hire a diesel plant or purchase a new one to add to the existing diesel plant so we can meet the demand of Viti Levu," Mr Patel said.

He said a new diesel plant would take two months to arrive in Fiji and become operational.

"We do not want a repeat situation of what happened in 2003 where we had a similar situation at the Monasavu dam.

"The water ran out because of a drought situation and around October 2013 we had to hire a diesel plant from overseas and shutdown Monasavu dam for a couple of months because we weren't able to generate anything due to a no water situation."

He said the purchase or hire of a new diesel plant and the amount of fuel used would cost FEA a substantial amount of money.

"It depends on the number of plants we get in terms of megawatts and of course it will cost an arm and a leg in burning the fuel to operate them."


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