18 Sep 2006

Fiji Electricity threatens power cuts

6:00 am on 18 September 2006

The state-owned Fiji Electricity Authority has warned that it will have to start rationing power by having periodic blackouts if a 30% fuel surcharge is not approved this month.

The Commerce Commission had approved the surcharge three weeks ago but suspended it for ten days in the face of a strong public outcry to enable stakeholders to make submissions.

That 10-day deadline expires this week.

The chairman of the Electricity Authority, Joe Mar, says the rationing of power is the best option if the Commerce Commission denies them the 30% fuel surcharge.

Mr Mar says either rationing or the fuel surcharge is the only way to avoid bankruptcy for the country's only power supplier.