25 Jan 2008

Marshalls face possible power cuts

10:03 am on 25 January 2008

Dwindling fuel supplies and a weather-delayed fuel tanker are posing problems for the main utility company in the Marshall Islands.

A fuel tanker from S. Korea was scheduled to arrive in Majuro this week, but its arrival has been pushed back to February 1st after severe storms hit South Korea.

It takes a tanker about 12 days to make the 3,000-mile journey from South Korea to Majuro.

The utility's general manager William Roberts says there is only enough fuel in its tanks to last until next Tuesday.

He says they are looking at all options to make sure the power doesn't go out.

Majuro has repeatedly faced the threat of fuel shortages because its debt coupled with rising prices and an inability to generate adequate revenues from its customers has forced it to reduce orders of diesel to minimum amounts.

The utility came close to running out of diesel on several occasions in 2006 and 2007