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ASPA completes maintenance on T-4

Executive Director of the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) Utu Abe Malae says the emergency power disruption that occurred last Wednesday evening in certain western district villages came after Feeder 10 (Futiga to Fagamalo) was out of power for ten minutes, and Feeder 6 (parts of Tafuna, Aoloau, and Pava'ia'i) was manually tripped. The outage in the latter areas lasted 44 minutes.


"I apologize for the emergency power disruption," Utu wrote in an email correspondence to the Samoa News on Thursday.


He explained that one of the larger engines, the T-4 Deutz at the Tafuna Power Plant shut down automatically due to an overheating problem. "Consequently, Feeder 10 tripped automatically and Feeder 6 was manually tripped by the plant operator in order to save the entire western system from collapse," Utu continued.


He said there were no power surges but instead, it was the frequency falling as T-4 shut down. 


Utu said "there is little power back up at Tafuna as long as that plant is not tied to Satala (ever since the 2009 tsunami)." 


The maintenance on T -4 was delayed while awaiting a critical part but Utu later told the Samoa News on Friday that maintenance work has been completed.


The tie-line project contract is proceeding this month. A company out of New Zealand was awarded the contract and it should be completed by mid-2014.


Meanwhile, Utu explained, the system continues to be vulnerable to power disruptions. 


He concluded, "we still have problems with failures of equipment out on the distribution lines — that affect isolated areas."