HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 578: 24 August 2011

Cabinet approves purchase of four new replacement electricity generators for Manihiki

Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to purchase four replacement electricity generators for Manihiki citing decisions made last year by the previous Government and Manihiki Island’s administration as costly and irresponsible.
Prime Minister Henry Puna said available expertise was ignored regarding the correct size generator for Manihiki. “The generators installed last year were far too big and therefore under-utilised for the peak demand of the island.”
The reported peak loadings for the two islets of Tukao and Tauhunu was approximately 35kW for both stations - with the minimum loadings around 15kW for Tukao and 17kW for Tauhunu.
“The demand from Tukao and Tauhunu does not come close to the minimum capacity output of these four Gensets (generators). What should have been purchased in the first instance were Gensets with power ratings between 38-43kW, noting the combined maximum peak load of 35kW – giving the island spare capacity of 3-8kW for future growth.”
“Purchasing the new sets will allow for better and more efficient use of diesel fuel and reduce monthly fuel consumption of the island to below 6000 litres per month. The extra cost of fuel per month to operate the generators is not yet known, however, the Government had to arrange for urgent delivery of fuel to Manihiki last month.”
At this time these generators are an essential requirement for the development of Manihiki however, they will act as ‘back up’ to this Government’s proposed renewable energy strategy for the island.
Prime Minister Puna said the four oversized Gensets acquired for the island would be used on islands in the southern group where peak demand justifies that size generator.
“The procurement of the generators would ordinarily have been subject to a public tendering process. However, given the urgency of the situation to get the generators to Manihiki and reduce the operating cost of the existing generators, Cabinet has recommended that this case be exempted.”
He said this would allow the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning to directly negotiate and purchase the generators and accessories. $110,400 has been approved from the Capital Expenditure Fund for Outer Island Projects for this purpose and to train Manihiki Island Administration staff to effectively and economically operate the sets.
“The Government is confident that the stress caused to people of Manihiki who have had to live with the nightmare of an underperforming and expensive electricity supply will soon be over, and that the previous administration has learned that its arrogance has resulted in an unfair and unnecessary burden to the people of Manihiki.”
Prime Minister Puna said acquiring the replacement generators was consistent with the National Sustainable Development Plan, which provides for a strong basic infrastructure base to support national development. It also aligns with the Manihiki Island Administrations Strategic Plan and the Cook Islands Government Infrastructure Priority List.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
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- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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