PAGO PAGO, American Samoa—Louis Berger Power, in partnership with the American Samoa Power Authority, officially opened the new Satala power plant in American Samoa’s Pago Pago Harbor.
The plant will replace a plant that was destroyed by a September 2009 tsunami after a powerful earthquake occurred off the coast of Tonga.
As part of the tsunami recovery effort, Louis Berger Power was hired by ASPA in 2013 to build a more efficient and resilient power plant that would have the capacity to power the entire Tutuila Island, the main island of American Samoa.
“The most important part of this project was our ability to provide reliable energy to our customers. Before, there was insufficient capacity for the industry in the Bay Area and on the east side of Tutuila,” said Abe Malae, executive director of ASPA. “The reliability and affordability of our power supply will give our people a high standard of living and our manufacturers confidence that they can do business here without interruption.”
The Satala plant is designed to withstand the challenges that American Samoa can present, including earthquakes, typhoons, flooding, high humidity, and corrosive salt air. Other new features include the plant’s new higher elevation on engineered fill, an eight-foot floodwall with watertight flood doors, and acoustic noise reduction measures.
Louis Berger Power and ASPA also worked closely together to minimize the environmental impact of the new plant. In addition to the low-emissions power generators, the site civil design incorporates all water runoff through two separate oil water separation systems before ocean discharge, while the building roof design includes a rainwater harvesting system.
“This plant will provide the American Samoan people with a more efficient and more resilient plant to power their future,” said Frank Jordano, president, Louis Berger Power. “Not only will this plant withstand a future tsunami similar to the 2009 event, but it will potentially save millions of dollars per year in avoided fuel costs, which should ease the high cost of electricity while delivering more economic opportunity for the American Samoan people.”
The challenge of resiliency and reliability was coupled with the overarching goal of keeping American Samoa on track to source 100 percent of its power from renewable energy sources by 2040, as other islands in the region aspire to accomplish.