‘Improve electricity distribution’, EFL told

Picture: FILE

“ENERGY Fiji Ltd should first improve electricity distribution in Savusavu before making requests of tariff increase by 17.27 per cent.”

This was the call made by residents and business communities who made submissions to the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission in Savusavu yesterday disagreeing with EFL’s request, describing their services as one that needed major improvement.

Businessman and real estate agent Aren Nunnink told the commission that they have been deprived of proper services by EFL.

“The power outage in Savusavu has become a regular occurrence, both for planned power shutdown and the unplanned ones,” he said.

“Three days ago the whole of Savusavu town was without electricity from 8am to 5.30pm and we getting lots of planned shutdown apart from any unplanned outages so there’s an obvious lack of electricity generation capacity and an obvious lack of skills and resources in maintaining distribution in Savusavu area.

“Now EFL is going to borrow $300 million in the next three years with $202m onshore and $50m (US) offshore. Is this tariff increase to help EFL pay off the interest on these loans?”

Mr Nunnink said it was only fair for EFL to provide better services to the people of Savusavu with proper attention.

“There are some issues in Savusavu that needs attention and EFL should investigate alternatives to develop alternative sources of power production for Savusavu where we can become self- reliant rather than dependent on imported fuel which is subject to price fluctuation.

“On the global front, if there’s a gulf war, the impact of this will have a massive costing increase for EFL to maintain non-hydro power places like Savusavu.

“Savusavu I believe is well positioned to take advantage of alternative sources of power production and along the Hibiscus Highway, we could have wind power during dry windy season and that could be something to be investigated.”

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