Dry spell forced EFL to buy generators

Political party leaders have attacked EFL for its proposed increase in tariff rates. Picture: FILE

THE 2014 prolonged dry weather spell forced Energy Fiji Ltd to purchase and install 40 megawatt generators around Viti Levu at a cost of $35 million.

Operating the generators incurred an unprecedented fuel bill of $180m, significantly more than the $57m spent in 2013.

This was revealed in EFL’s submission to the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission in its bid to seek an increase in electricity tariff rate per unit.

The national energy provider said it borrowed from ANZ Bank at an interest rate of 2.7 per cent per annum fixed for three years to fund the purchase of the containerised machines.

EFL said it considered the option as the lesser of two challenges in terms of economic and cost implications.

It said another setback was the temporary shutdown of the Monasavu Hydro Electric Project when water reached critical level as a result of very low rainfall across Viti Levu.

EFL revealed that the $180m fuel bill in 2014, an unbudgeted cost, was not passed on to customers but absorbed internally.

Despite the setback, EFL said it managed to achieve a profit of $1m in 2014.

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