FIJI SUGAR MILLS PLAN $51 MILLION UPGRADE

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 27) - About 25 businessmen from India are expected to arrive in Fiji next month to go through the Fiji Sugar Corporation's (FSC) sugar mills.

They are parties that submitted expressions of interest to supply machines worth $86 million (US$51.8 million) to FSC.

FSC chairman Ross McDonald said the machines would be installed early next year so they it could be used during the crushing season in June.

He said the Fiji High Commission in Delhi received 32 expressions, which were now being studied.

McDonald said the applications would be sorted out and short-listed after they are checked against the criteria and conditions laid for the applicants.

He said it would take at least two months to call for tenders and the technical process after that would take longer. He said all tenders would be verified to ensure they suited the demands of the mills.

He said many technical and mechanical checks would be made before a decision was reached.

McDonald said the interested parties would study the mills before putting in their tender applications.

"We are optimistic that the next crushing season will start with the new machines," he said.

Expressions of interest closed on Thursday last week and were opened by High Commissioner Luke Rokovada on Friday.

McDonald said it would take up to eight weeks to call for tenders for the supply after the expressions were registered.

McDonald is also chairman of the board of Fiji Times Ltd.

January 28, 2005

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