12 Mar 2003

Solomons Power Authority threatens to cut off power to government agencies

11:39 am on 12 March 2003

The government owned Solomon Island Electricity Authority says it will pull the plug on other statutory bodies and government departments unless millions of dollars owed to it are paid.

It has issued a public notice in Honiara that it will cut the power to its biggest customers today. (thur)

The Authority's General Manager Mike Nation says the total debt owed by the government agencies is more than two million US dollars.

He says the Authority has to pay on a daily basis for diesel and a lack of money has forced it to reduce output over the past four days.

Mr Nation says the Authority's money problems mean they also cannot carry out proper maintenance and as a result just four of eleven generators are in action.

He says they want the Government to recognize that electricity generation is a priority.

"I We are taking a fairly drastic step. Today we are disconnecting all government departments and all the statutory corporations and authorities, including the Water Authority, to bring the episode to a head."

Mike Nation.