Hydro power plant could make electricity affordable

Electricity prices in Samoa could become affordable after the Fuluasou hydro power plant is commissioned, but that will depend on fuel prices.

This was confirmed by the Electric Power Corporation (EPC) general manager, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali'ifano, when Samoa Observer sought his comments in relation to statements made by visiting European Union Commissioner, Neven Mimica.

Mr. Mimica, who visited the Fuluasou hydro power plant last week, said the new facility will make electricity become affordable in Samoa when it is commissioned.

“The Fuluasou hydro power plant will play its part in helping Samoa be less dependent on expensive imported fossil fuel. I trust this will make energy in Samoa more affordable and free up resources for other important priorities,” he said.

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In response, Tologata said the goal of Samoa’s Government is to make electricity affordable for Samoans, but ultimately it will depend on fuel prices at that time. 

“The price of electricity is expected to be affordable after Fuluasou is commissioned. However, we need to understand two things: firstly, capacity of Fuluasou is very small and its contribution to the generation mix is only about two per cent of the total energy demand.

“The other part is that if price of diesel fuel will increase, any contribution from renewable is offset. However, price will be affordable compared to 100 per cent diesel,” he added. 

EPC project manager, Fonoti Perelini Perelini, said that the Fuluasou hydro facility was built and commissioned in 1948 with 150kW installed capacity, during the New Zealand Government Administration and was re-commissioned in 1980 with 400kW installed capacity.

“It was damaged by Cyclone Ofa and Val but it is currently in its rebuilding phase with the hope to commission this year. 

“If everything goes according to plan, we will commission the Fuluasou on August this year with 700kW,” he said.

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