Tongan lines crew to assist Fiji recovery - Solomon Star News

Tongan lines crew to assist Fiji recovery

06 April 2016

NUKU'ALOFA, (MATANGI TONGA) ----A Tongan line mechanic group will be deployed in Fiji to assist with the efforts to repair the damage to the Electricity Distribution Network caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The group consists of six qualified and experienced line mechanics personnel from Tonga Power Limited, led by line supervisor Metuisela Afu. The first team will leave Tonga for Fiji this Saturday April 9, 2016. 

Tonga Power has provided the associated plant and equipment and two vehicles for the network restoration work in Fiji to assist the group with their tasks upon arrival. The teams will be based in Lautoka, the second largest city of Fiji in the west of the island of Vitilevu where the electricity network was badly damaged by the cyclone. 

The Chief Executive of Tonga Power Ltd stated the assistance was an immediate priority.  “I’m sure if Cyclone Winston had hit Tonga harder, Fijian’s wouldn’t hesitate to lend their support.”

He said this initiative would not be possible without the direct financial assistance through the Asian Development Bank of USD$302,691. The line crew’s deployment is supported in travel, accommodation costs and daily allowances. The team will be deployed in two groups, each for a month from the third week of April to the 15 June 2016. 

Cyclone Winston left a swathe of destruction in Fiji with extensive damage to the electricity infrastructure.

The damages included but were not limited to the electricity generation assets, transmission tower and lines, sub-transmission poles and lines and the entire power distribution network around the country. 

Tonga Power’s lines crew will work under the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) to assist with: 

*disconnecting fallen lines from power poles

*clearing debris for the safe re-construction of power lines

*re-erecting fallen power lines

*re-stringing powerlines

*re-installing fallen transformers and other overhead distribution equipment.
Due to severe damage to Fiji’s electricity network, full restoration of power to the country is expected to take considerable time with power supply restoration on-going since February.