Step towards a greener Samoa
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, yesterday commissioned the Alaoa, Fale Ole Fe'e and Loto Samasoni Hydro plants.
The opening took place at the Loto Samasoni Hydro plant with the cutting of the ribbon by New Zealand High Commissioner, David Nicholson.
Tuilaepa said the projects are a step towards Samoa’s goal of using more renewable and cleaner energy.
The hydro pump received much-needed refurbishment after damages of Cyclone Evans towards the bed stock and electrical equipment.
The total cost of the project was US$9.3million (T$23.5 million) which was funded by Asia Development Bank (A.D.B.), Multi Donors of the Green Energy Fund, European Union, Government of N.Z. with an additional $4.8 million contributed by Samoa.
"This project is part of the Government of Samoa's strategic plan," the Tuilaepa said.
"The strategy is for Samoa to be 100 percent renewable in generating electricity, thus reducing Samoa's dependency on diesel fuel and minimize green house emission.”
"The renewable energy development and power sector rehabilitation project is the rehabilitation of the Alaoa, Fale O le Fe'e and Loto Samasoni power plants that were damaged by floods during cyclone Evans in 2012.”
"This project is one of many under the renewable energy development and power sector rehabilitation project."
The projects contract was awarded to Map Projects as well as Bluebird construction for civil works and Vortex Hydro N.Z. who provided funding and electrical equipment support.
"Total installed capacity of the three hydro power plants is 4,400kilowatts with an estimated energy output of 13 million units of electricity, or 10 percent of our electricity energy needs for the year," the P.M. said.
"Savings of up to three million litres of diesel fuel equivalent to $7.2million tala per year.”
"It will contribute to reducing the production cost of electricity with benefits to follow in reducing the electricity cost to the users of electricity in Samoa.”
"An expected contribution to the reduction of 8,200 metro tons of carbon dioxide emission annually is small on a global scale; nevertheless, it's our share of compliance with the bodies’ international accords we are partied to and it will take us to a better future for our younger generations for years to come."
Tuilaepa said after the Alaoa east intake water channel was severely damaged five years ago because of floods, the plant capacity was restored this year and has already began work in producing electricity.
"It was April this year that the plant capacity was restored with the completion of the refurbished channel," he said.
"Fale O le Fee Hydro plant suffered damage to all equipment as a result of major flooding to the Vaisigano basin.”
“Efforts to restore the plant equipment were later upgraded to a total replacement of the generator system, including improvements to the intake elements.”
"To date, the Fale Ole Fe'e plant has completed all its tests and has been operating for close to 30 days."
The refurbishment of the power plant included the installation of a new bed stock to the latest internationally recognized standards of pipes along with new and improved equipment and state-of-the-art operating systems.
Tuilaepa said the completion of such projects demonstrated true diligence towards the development of Samoa.
"With all projects of this kind towards environment, social and economic issues with a good share of technical challenges can be an overwhelming task.”
"However, as demonstrated today with a due diligence of our contractor and sub-contractors, the hard working Samoan men and women, the guidance systems of villages within the project area, the support of government and a never ending generosity of our development is evidence of our resolve to succeed.”
"Today is also a testimony of the good work of our stakeholders.”