POWER RATIONING IN PALAU ENDS

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Energy supply has been stable since Christmas

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Jan. 2, 2012) – President Toribiong, together with members of his cabinet and Palau Public Utilities Corporation General Manager Ken Uyehara, Friday announced that Palau already has a total of 14 megawatts power supply, therefore power rationing has been stopped.

Toribiong said that since before Christmas, Koror and Babeldaob areas already have uninterrupted electricity but he refused to issue an official statement until it was sure that the goal to bring the power back to normal was accomplished.

Uyehara disclosed that the two 5MW Niigata generators are running at a total of 9MW, plus two Mitsubishi engines running at a total of 5MW.

The peak island power required is 12.5MW. Beginning Friday, commercial customers were asked to hook up with PPUC again for power.

Earlier reports showed PPUC and the president determined after a meeting that the Niigata engines should not be turned on until the damaged parts of the engines will be replaced with genuine parts. Uyehara, at the time, said he cannot guarantee that the Niigata generators will stay online for a long time once it starts running again without replacing the damaged parts with genuine parts.

In the first week of December, it was also estimated that it will take about three months to get genuine parts from Japan to Palau.

But in less than a month, the Niigata engines were running again. President Toribiong’s Press Secretary Fermin Meriang disclosed that the parts were sent to TESS Engineering in Japan. Meriang assured that the Niigata engines are now running well.

On further development, the Government of Japan has reportedly committed to donate four 500-kilowatt generators to Palau.

This commitment came after Toribiong wrote to Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on December 5 requesting assistance to overcome the power crisis.

On Thursday, a generator from Guam will also be arriving on island. The generator will be used to power up Babeldaob areas and relieve the Ngerulmud generator from supplying power to Babeldaob residences.

Toribiong disclosed that as of Friday, there is still $1.8 million remaining from the $3 million emergency funding for PPUC. The president said he is still thinking about what to do with the remaining amount.

Island Times © 2012 Island Times. All rights reserved

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