Fiji gets heavy vehicle donation

A FLEET of heavy vehicles donated by a consortium of Australian energy networks has been handed to the Fiji Electricity Authority by the acting Australian high commissioner Karinda D’Aloisio.
Fiji gets heavy vehicle donation Fiji gets heavy vehicle donation Fiji gets heavy vehicle donation Fiji gets heavy vehicle donation Fiji gets heavy vehicle donation

The donation is part of a partnership between Australian energy networks and the Australian government to boost reconstruction of the Fijian electricity network following Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Energy Networks Association CEO John Bradley said Cyclone Winston knocked down or damaged more than 4500 power poles and affected up to 90% of the Fijian electricity network.

"The donations by 10 Australian energy companies will assist in replacing power poles and lines and speed up reconstruction of the electricity network in Fiji by an estimated 25%, completing works months earlier," Bradley said.

"It will make a big difference to the safety and quality of power restoration and will increase the future reliability of the Fiji electricity network during severe weather events."

The consortium of energy networks contributing to the restoration effort includes ActewAGL, Ausgrid, AusNet Services, Energex, Ergon Energy, Essential Energy, Jemena, SA Power Networks, TasNetworks and Zinfra Group.

The donation includes seven heavy vehicles - crane borers, elevated work platforms and a service truck - and $270,000 of specialised tools and equipment including electrical test equipment, hydraulic cutting tools, drills and pole saws.

Fiji Infrastructure Minister Parveen Bala said: "Your gift to the Fiji Electricity Authority will not only assist in the restoration of power supply, but will also go a long way in assisting with the roll out of our Rural Electrification Program.

"This program allows rural Fijians access to electricity, which is so important in enabling families to cook, to boil water for washing and cleaning, and providing light for children to study at night."

Energy Networks Association chairman Paul Adams said the energy network industry had moved swiftly to support the Australian government response.

"We know how much communities depend on safe and reliable power supply, so when we heard about the scale of damage to our near neighbours, Australian energy networks were keen to lend a hand. This is what network businesses do best, they work together to get the power back on and keep people safe," Adams said.

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