Fiji Time: 6:04 PM on Tuesday 23 January

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Patel: Monasavu — authority's most strategic asset

Manasa Kalouniviti
Friday, January 12, 2018

THE Monasavu Hydro Scheme is the most strategic asset of the Fiji Electricity Authority, says CEO Hasmukh Patel.

"And FEA and Fiji have been very fortunate to have the Monasavu Hydro Scheme which was commissioned in 1983.

"It has been in operation for almost 34 years and now we need to carry out half-life refurbishment works which should have started some years ago but we did not have the capital then," Mr Patel said.

He said they started the refurbishment in 2012 after receiving the tariff increase in 2011.

"And in the last five years we have spent around $52 million on the Monasavu Hydroelectric Scheme half-life refurbishment," he said.

Mr Patel said they had changed a lot of the old equipment and envisaged the exercise to continue for another three years.

"We'll be spending another $40m-$50m before we fully refurbish the Monasavu Hydro Scheme together with the transmission line and substations.

"This will give this strategic asset another life of 30 years."

He said Fiji was fortunate to have the Monasavu Hydro, which was envisaged by the late Fijian prime minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, back in 1977/78.

"I must say that if not for this particular project, who knows what the price of electricity would have been in this country," Mr Patel said.

He said for similar islands in the South Pacific the price of electricity was very, very high where power generation totally depended on fossil fuel.

Mr Patel was making submissions to the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on the 2016 FEA Annual Report yesterday.

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