TONGA POWER COMPANY MAKING SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT

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$8.1 million to improve electricity distribution

NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, April 27, 2009) - Over the next seven years Tonga Power Ltd will be spending $16.5 million pa'anga (US$8.1 million) to improve the electricity distribution network in Tongatapu and the outer islands.

Acting Chief Executive David Wright said today that under their program of improving the electricity distribution network they would replace 120 old concrete poles with new wooden ones, beginning in Tongatapu and then move on to Vava'u, Ha'apai and 'Eua.

The Tonga Power linesmen demonstrated the work, using their new equipment this afternoon by replacing old concrete poles along Hala Laifone, by the Basilica Catholic Cathedral in central Nuku'alofa.

Over seven years

However, David said that while the replacement of power poles would run on to next year, but the improvement and replacement of power lines would take more than seven years.

"We are improving the reliability of the electricity supply, which will result in less faults, reduced voltage fluctuations hence meet the continuing growth in demand for electricity."

He said the improvements would ultimately reduce the cost of electricity because they will reduce line losses between generation and consumers' homes; "meaning they will need to generate less electricity for each unit of electricity that we bill."

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