FIRST INDEPENDENT FIJI ELECTRIC COMPANY

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 15, 1999 - PACNEWS)---A three-way consortium involving British, New Zealand and Fijian companies has won the bid to set up Fiji’s first independent electric company.

The U$ 20 million joint venture will see the construction of a new power generating station in the capital of Suva. It will sell electricity to the Government-owned Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA).

The three partners in the consortium are Fijian Holdings, Ltd., Rolls Royce Power, Ltd. of the United Kingdom and New Zealand’s Mighty River Power, Ltd.

Bids for the project were received from 50 independent local and international power producers.

Fiji’s Energy Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said new players in the electricity market will result in better services for consumers.

"In the case of electricity, the Government needs to ensure that all users of electricity get a fair deal. This means they pay an appropriate price for their power and receive safe, reliable and secure supply of electricity", he said.

"With growth in industries such as hospitality and garment manufacturing, energy requirements are increasing and we need to ensure that sufficient generation is available to service these industries".

Ratu Inoke said the Electricity Reform Bill, which was withdrawn from the House of Representatives during the last session, would not affect the new project.

The reform bill proposed that the FEA be split up into three companies, separately responsible for power, generation and distribution.

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