Feasibility study under way for major power supply project for Praslin


12-March-2012

If the project gets government approval, the necessary funding will have to be secured and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) presented before it can move ahead in two to three years’ time.

According to Paul Tuson, chief electrical engineer of the PARSONS BRINCHERHOFF of South Africa, the project will involve laying a 66kV cable -- eventually to be increased to two -- on the seabed, from the Public Utilities Company (PUC) plant at Roche Caiman, Mahe to Grand Anse Praslin.

The earth station on Praslin will be at Nouvelle Découverte, near the junction of the Consolation-Baie Ste Anne road, a distance of 25 km.

From there, it is proposed that the cable be laid overland to Baie Ste Anne.
Mr Tuson said that the 15 cm diametre pipe will also hold a fibre-optic cable, which will speed telecommunications on Praslin.

On capacity, Mr Tuson said it is envisaged to upgrade the Roche Caiman PUC earth station with three new generators. This will necessitate new storage tanks and extension of the fuel handling capacity.

He noted that Praslin presently requires seven megawatts. By comparison, just Lemuria and Raffles resorts, which presently have their own generators, use up to 3 megawatts daily. They could be connected to the national grid once connection is made to Mahe.

The company’s Environment and Social Unit team leader, Eden Wildy, said the potential impact of the project will have to be assessed.

He said there is potential for pollution and contamination of seawater and erosion of the coastal environment.
Mr Wildy said consideration will also be given for possible expropriation of land for the project, such as laying of the 66 kV cables from one coast of Praslin to another.

He said the project, if approved, will be presented to the community to raise questions and express their concerns.

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