TONGA GETS $3 MILLION BACKUP GENERATOR

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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Feb. 22) - Tongatapu's electric power generation will be boosted by a new 3-megawatt diesel generator that Shoreline Group has imported from Germany and expects to be operational by June this year.

The Chairman of the Shoreline Group, HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a, on Friday announced that the Group had taken delivery of the generator to be installed in the company’s Tongatapu power generation station.

HRH Tupouto'a said that the investment by the Group in this project amounted to US$3 million, or approximately 6 million pa’anga, to ensure the stability and reliability of the supply of electrical power to Tongatapu.

The generator also operates on a lower grade of fuel.

"Given that the purchase of fuel represents the major production cost in the supply of electricity, this capacity will allow the Group to lower production costs," he said.

In addition to the new diesel generator, a separate new 1.4-megawatt generator had recently been commissioned at a cost of US $750,000,or 1.5 million pa’anga. This generator is constructed on a mobile trailer that will allow the generator to be relocated at short notice, to any part of the Kingdom as a response to national disasters or other emergencies.

He said that the generators would substantially increase the available generating capacity and support the ongoing development of the Tongan economy.

"This initiative is a further indication of the determination of the Shoreline Group to strengthen the economic base of the Kingdom, facilitating the growth of employment and business opportunities and an improvement in living standards for the whole community," Tupouto’a said. "Shoreline is well aware of the impact of rising electricity prices on individuals and businesses throughout the Kingdom and the Group is making every effort to contain costs and improve efficiency. While Shoreline is unable to influence world oil prices, these initiatives by the Group show its commitment to take every possible measure to make the supply of electricity as affordable as possible."

February 23, 2005

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html

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