TONGA UTILITY PLANS $13 MILLION UPGRADE

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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 10) - Tonga's sole suppler of electricity, the Shoreline Power Group, is investing $13 million to upgrade its power generation capacity and its distribution network.

Soane Ramanlal, Shoreline CEO, said on July 7 that Shoreline had purchased two new power generators valued at $8 million from Hawthorne Machinery, USA, to increase Shoreline power capacity from 8.3 megawatts to 12.7 megawatts.

Soane said that to upgrade their distribution network they had brought in North Power Ltd, a New Zealand company to work with them at a cost of $1.5 million. "This significant investment will upgrade our facility so that it can optimize the efficiency of generation and the delivery of power." He said it would help the company to absorb the high world price of oil, "and not to pass it on to our customers."

Soane said that Shoreline had been working very closely with North Power since Shoreline took over the distribution of electricity from the Tonga Electric Power Board and they had recently formulated a working relation for the mutual benefit of both companies. Under this scheme skilled Tongan linesmen may go and work with North Power in New Zealand, enabling them to earn recognized qualification. "At the same time they will send experienced trainers here to train our linesmen," said Soane.

Visiting Tonga from North Power Limited of New Zealand is Lloyd Richards and Vern Rosieur.

July 12, 2004

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/

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