May 25, 2017
Despite the rainy weather, there was a celebratory mood in Satala for the sizable crowd gathered to witness the commissioning of American Samoa Power Authority’s improved Satala Power Plant. Present were Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and first Lady Cynthia Moliga, Lt. Governor Lemanu Mauga, members of the Fono, the High Court, traditional leaders, officials from Tonga and the ASPA Board, Management and staff.
The program began promptly at 10am with welcoming remarks by Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs Malemo Tausaga who then introduced Reverend Elder Ioane Evagelia of the Utulei CCCAS who provided the Invocation to bless the occasion.
Next to speak was ASPA CEO Utu Abe Malae who provided an overview of the process of rebuilding the power plant following the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2009. CEO Utu outlined some of the challenges faced in rebuilding the power plant and praised the local workers who were involved in completing the project. He said that the new Satala Power Plant is capable of producing 24.5 megawatts of power more efficiently and more environmentally friendly than the previous facility. The 56 million dollar power plant is the largest infrastructure project to be completed during the administration of Lolo and Lemanu.
Speaking next was Raymond Mardini, representing Prime Contractor Louis Berger Group Inc. Mr. Mardini congratulated ASPA and the American Samoa Government and commended local subcontractor Paramount Builders for their work.
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga then offered his special remarks and reflected on the appointment of Utu to oversee ASPA, the selection of representatives from the private sector to the ASPA Board, and his mandate that the ultimate goal was to lower the cost of electricity to improve the quality of life for the people of American Samoa. Governor Lolo proudly noted that the ASPA management and board have since constructed two renewable energy projects in Manu’a and now the new Satala Power Plant.
Closing remarks were provided by ASPA Board Chairman Fonoti Perelini Perelini who shared his appreciation of the partnership between public and private sectors which made the complicated reconstruction possible. He also commented on some of the built in safety features of the new building designed to be flood- and hurricane-resistant and even protect from a future tsunami.
First Lady Cynthia Moliga then cut the ribbon to officially open the plant before Reverend Elder Evagelia offered a benediction before a tour was conducted of the new Satala Power Plant.