Friday, December 10, 2010

Hydro site to Power Entire Buca bay

Fiji Sun News - 11 December 2010
A new hydro power generation site has been identified in Buca Bay not far from the site where a $10 million hydroelectric power plant is currently being constructed.

The hydroelectric plant is scheduled to be commissioned before Christmas this year.

A few hundred metres away from the Buca Hydro Power House is a new hydro site, powerful enough to generate 1MW power capacity.
Negotiations are expected to take place soon with the Buca Hydro Project financier TEMSAN, a Turkish Government-owned hydroelectric company which is funding the Buca Bay project.

TEMSAN is a unique Turkish company with a successful 32 years in the production, establishment, operation and maintenance services of energy installations with the two factories in Ankara and Diyarbakr.

The ministry and relevant local stakeholders, including the Government, are likely to submit a report seeking the development of the new site.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities, Colonel Timoci Lesi Natuva, inspected the Buca Hydro Power Project last week and was told by the Department of Energy Department officials about the new hydro site.

“We will probably write to the Turkish Government to see if it can facilitate the developmet of the new site,” he said.
“Right now this new one which they have financed is almost completed because this new site I have been told is a very viable site that is capable of producing 1MG, which can supply electricity to all the villages along the Buca Bay peninsula.”

It is estimated the new site can be developed for $10 million, according to Turkish engineers working at the Buca Hydro power project.

Department of Energy officials have revealed that the 1MG capacity will further increase power supply around Buca Bay peninsula and the grid can be extended to the Natewa west coast areas and down to Nakobo and Bagasau, which is about 60 kilometres from the hydro site.

The Fiji Electricity Authority is currently extending its Savusavu grid along the Buca Bay Road to Bagasau and if the new hydro site in Buca is further developed and materialised most coastal areas along the main Buca Bay road will be powered and more commercial activities could open up in the area.
The ministry has also signed a contract with a Chinese company for road upgrading works along the main Buca Bay Road.

Meanwhile, Department of Energy officials are working tirelessly to complete the Buca Hydro power project.
The heavy downpour experienced along the area several weeks ago has slowed construction work.
However, the Department wants to commission the hydro power project before Christmas and the focus is geared towards that.

Minister Natuva has been impressed with the works being carried out, considering the geographic location of the site and the continuous heavy down power in the past six weeks. 

A total of 400 penstock pipes have so far been connected and engineers working at the site are optimistic that the connection will be completed this week.

The hydro dam, once completed, will have the capacity to supply 25KW power to Buca and Tukavesi villages and the Kanakana area.

Engineers have completed the installation of a 11kv transmission line with completed step up and step down transformers already installed.

The installation of low voltage overhead lines through villages is in progress while the house wiring work and power house construction are complete.

At the dam site proper the clearing and structure profile has been completed with rock drilling almost completed before the commencement of the steel structure construction.

A specially-designed carting machine is the only means of transporting dam materials at the site since no other normal vehicle is capable of reaching the site because of the harsh terrain and location.

The Chairman of the Buca Village Development Committee, Iowane Naiveli, said there was huge enthusiasm in the area, especially along Buca Bay, following the construction of the new hydro dam.

He said other villagers nearby as well as tourist operators and estate owners who will benefit from cheaper electricity under the project.

Mr Naiveli said this has been a 15-year project and the people of the two villagers are looking forward to its commissioning.

He thanked the current Government for finally bringing power to their doorsteps.

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