Govt. opens $5.39 million project

The Government celebrated the commissioning of a $5.39 million tala 200 Kilowatt Hydro Power plant at Vailoa Palauli, yesterday.

The occasion was hailed as a milestone for the big island of Savai’i, with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi officially opening the project.

 “The project is part of the Government’s plan to achieve its 100 per cent goal of renewable energy generating power by 2025, and reduce the emission of poisonous gas into our environment that has resulted in major changes in climate,” Tuilaepa said.

Last year, the Prime Minister said 48 percent of the total electricity demand for Samoa was generated from renewable energy, the rest came from diesel. 

“For the island of Savai’i, only one percent was generated from renewable energy.”

This is why the new power plant is important for Samoa, Tuilaepa said.

“The Vailoa hydro power plant is one of the three new hydro power plants that have been constructed as part of Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project.” 

The other two include the Tafitoala-Fausaga Hydro Power Plant and the Fuluasou Hydro Plant.

The power plants are part of the Renewable Energy Development and Power Sector Rehabilitation Project which are funded by grants from the Asian Development Bank, European Union, government of New Zealand, government of Samoa, and the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.). 

“The capacity of this new hydro power plant is 200 kilowatt and produces 500,000 kilowatt hour units of electricity per year which is about 4 per cent of the total annual electricity demand in Savaii. This will provide electricity to some 800 families in Savaii. 

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“This plant will save about 167,000 litres of diesel fuel per year that would normally be used to generate electricity from diesel generators or a saving of $526,000 Samoan Tala per year.

“The plant will also reduce 450 metric tons of carbon dioxide gas emission to the atmosphere.”

He also said that the power plant uses water from the same river that supplies water to Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A) Water Treatment Plant which is designed to first use water to generate electricity and then the same water discharges to S.W.A’s Vailoa water treatment plant for water supply for all of Fa’asaleleaga, from Vailoa to Faga villages. 

 “The new power plant includes a buried fiberglass pipe from the river intake to power station, surge chamber, and power station installed with one vertical 200 kilowatt Pelton turbine with three jets and generator and electrical equipment.

“The plant is connected to the Saleologa through the Asau Distribution feeder to supply power to customers in Vailoa, neighboring villages in the south side of Savaii. The Plant is remotely controlled from EPC’s Salelologa Control Center through telecommunication links using microwaves, radio signals and fiber optic cable. 

“Plant is also monitored and controlled from the National Control and Dispatching Centre at Fuluasou in Upolu. This enables the new plant to be integrated with rest of EPC’s network in Savaii for improve efficiency and reliability of operation with maximum output power dependent on river flow. This is the first ever Hydro Power Plant in Savaii and it won’t be the last,” he added.

He also thanked all the people and companies who were involved in this project. 

“The contractor and their team of local and off-island subcontractors, village council of Vailoa - for your support of Government Development Projects like this new hydro. 

“I also would like to thank the 15 families who agreed on Government’s taking of part of their lands to build this new Hydro Power Plant; to benefit not only Vailoa but all of Savaii. 

“I would also like to thank our Development Partners, the Asian Development Bank, European Union, and Government of New Zealand as well as all other donor partners such as Australian Government, Japanese Government and JICA, for help in funding this and other development projects. 

“May God continue to bless you all so that you will continue to help Samoa with all its developments especially the development of renewable energy resources like this new hydro power plant in order to reduce the impact of climate change on our communities and people.”

The project was carried out by Pernix Group and MAP Projects Joint Venture from New Zealand, United States of America and Fiji with assistance from subcontractors; Bluebird Construction Ltd, Vortex Group Ltd, MTL Design Ltd, Maskell Production Ltd, and Gabot Holding Communications. 

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