6 Oct 2009

American Samoa's private sector priority for power restoration

3:41 pm on 6 October 2009

American Samoa's government is making the restoration of power to the private sector its priority following last week's tsunami.

Governor Togiola Tulafono says extensive damage to the Satala power plant, one of two in the territory, means initial hopes of repair will not be realised.

He says rebuilding the plant is now the only option and this could take many months.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, says despite government assurances that 90 percent of the territory has electricity again, power outages are a problem.

"However, the government is hoping that the 23 generators that are now on-island will be able to at least restore most of the power throughout the island and that's the goal right now and especially to get commerce or the businesses back on line."

Fili Sagapolutele says the American Samoa Power Authority is urging people to conserve power.

The territory's biggest private sector employer, Starkist Cannery, says because of the electricity situation, it doesn't know how long it will be before it can get back to to full capacity.