PUC looking at a brighter Pohnpei in 2019

Nixon Anson

General Manager of PUC

January 4, 2018

Pohnpei—In 2018 PUC received over $3 million in projects and grants that are set to provide greater power stability to Pohnpei State. While some of these projects have started, PUC is still finding a few challenges in keeping the power on during the holidays. To keep our customers informed, we want to let you know some of the specifics of what is happening and when you can expect improvements.

During the holiday season, we have been having some technical problems with one of the new RUS funded generators that was installed in 2018. Parts to fix this generator should be here by the time this article is published and once we receive the parts, it will take a day and a half to bring this unit back on line. This should help with the short power outages we have been experiencing. Of greater concern is that we are also having some technical problems on one of our base load generators, CAT # 4, and it has been shut down for repair. We have two technicians from Hawthorne Guam and Hawthorne San Diego assisting with these issues to bring CAT #4 back into operation and restore our power generation capacity to meet the needs of Pohnpei.

The main purpose of the technicians from Hawthorne are to work on the major overhaul of CAT # 1 whose repair is funded by the US compact, but we have asked for their assistance to repair CAT #4 as well. All parts for the major overhaul have arrived, and we are ready to carry out the work starting January 2nd, 2019. The overhaul will be done in three weeks if no major components of the unit is found to be defective, so, around the end of January we will have full power generation capacity plus back up capacity, and PUC should be able to minimize further blackouts from happening.

In the meantime, there will be un-schedule outages in some areas around the island in order for us to perform check-ups on the operational units. We are taking standby generators off line for more than 2 hours, so we don’t impact other customers without backup generators. Once PUC fixes two of the units, within 5 days, we will cease the 30-minute outages, but if we encounter other problems, we will have to carry out further unscheduled power interruptions. Once CAT #4 and #1 are both online, and the RUS generator fix is completed, these outages should end. Future improvements to the Nahnpohnmal Power plant are coming in the near future and in 2021. PUC is looking to get a new utility grade set of generators to produce power for Pohnpei, so the future does look brighter.

We apologies for the inconveniences that these outages have caused to the people of Pohnpei over the holidays and we hope that all of our customers were blessed with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to meeting all of your power generation needs in the coming weeks.

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