Keep power running for the Games — P.M. Tuilaepa warns E.P.C.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has warned the Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.), saying there should be no power outages during the July 7-20 Pacific Games.

Most athletes and officials from the 24 participating nations and territories are scheduled to arrive in Samoa end of this week with the opening ceremony scheduled for this Sunday at the Apia Park Stadium. 

The Prime Minister made the warning on Saturday, as there was a power outage before he joined Team Samoa athletes for lunch at the Games venue at Tuana'imato. 

"This is an important area, especially with the time we were supposed to start but the electricity was off, so this is also a message to the E.P.C. chief and technical staff to look into our power stations to prevent any interruptions while the Games are on. 

"It is very important to put emphasis on the word that goes out, when word goes out it should be that nothing is faulty, and that electricity is on the whole time," he said.

He highlighted that most of the sports involved in the Games use electricity for to keep track of and the counting of scores.

"Meaning, for the technical staff listening right now, none of you should sleep anymore starting from now till the Games are complete. 

"Keep an eye on what should be monitored, so that nobody and nothing disrupts these Games again so that it may run smoothly," he said.

The comment was made due to the sudden outage of power during the Prime Minister's lunch with the Team Samoa athletes on Saturday afternoon.

The warning from the PM comes five days after EPC Chief Executive Officer, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali’ifano issued a public apology last week after a power outage, which at one time disrupted a session of the Parliament, as live broadcasting of the proceedings was affected. 

According to Tologata, a faulty switchgear within Electric Power Corporation (E.P.C.)-owned transformers in Tanugamanono led to a one-hour power outage on Tuesday.

He said last week that if there was another  outage, the Fiaga power station has the capacity to feed electricity through the national grid in the absence of other power generators.  

In Parliament last week, the Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, apologised to his peers for the inconvenience caused. 

During an interview, the Minister said the outage cannot be avoided and these are unforeseen issues that the E.P.C. has no control over. 

“I understand the frustrations by the public and businesses, however these are unforeseen situations."

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