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Power generation no longer a government function

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Editor,

I am not sure who is still missing the point here. Freddy Kavaha’apai is trying to excuse us the innocent commoners from the problem that has been created by the Tonga Government vs Shoreline dealings. I’d love to think that we commoners, should not be burdened with bailing out Shoreline from its financial mud hole, but we must not forget these facts.

One, we (the people) voted for our representative at the parliament thus giving them the authority to speak and vote on our behalf. Two, our representatives voted yes to the sales of the Power Generation and distribution to Shoreline. You may disagree with me but I submit that we are all in this mess together.

The government by law could not force Shoreline a private company to sell its operation to anyone including selling it to the government. Unless of course we recommend nationalization which will take us to a new and bigger set of troubles.

Contrary to Senolita Swans conviction, it is obvious that because of 16/11 gave the extra push needed for the CEO and managers to sell shoreline.

Ms. Payne, there are three main elements of the the Cost Calculation Temperate that determine the Cost of Electricity to consumers per Kilowatt Hour. 1) The Base Price (covers overhead, efficiency of generators, cost of generation, etc.,) 2) Fuel Surcharge (cost of diesel fuel per gallon) 3) Service Charges and Admin Cost. Billing system has a lot to do with the supply of fuel. Cost of fuel is a huge factor in determining the cost of electricity.

Here is my suggestion for Shoreline and Tonga Government:

1. The Government should immediately hire a competent and credible firm to determine the worth of Shoreline. A complete inventory of assets and the status of all these assets must be determined first. I would keep out anyone with interest in Shoreline but now with the government out of the loop. I am sorry Ms. Swan, I do not have that much confident in our local Tonga PHD’s.

2. In the mean time, the Government set up laws (as Ms. Payne suggested) first to Obligate Shoreline to continue in operation while the Tonga Government determine its options.

I can see two options for the Government:

Option A.

1. Buy back the Power Generation from Shoreline at the best reasonable price

2. Establish a Semi-autonomous Power Authority to run the power operation and all other function.

3. Set up a Board of Directors to control the Power Authority and one of it’s many function will be to control the cost of operation and the cost of power to the customers.

Option B.

1. The Tongan Government finds another buyer , a private company.

2. The government set up a Public Utility Commission (PUC) to control the cost of operation and the cost of power to the customers.

Power Plant operation and generation is no longer a government function in many countries including United States of America and New Zealand. Privatization seems to be the norm but with control system in place.

The bigger phalanges for Tonga is finding proven competent authorities with unquestionable integrity to manage these projects. And leaders who would allow these menagers to do their work.

Sione L. Kava.

slkava [at] samoatelco [dot] com