$5.8 MILLION WATER BOTTLING PLANT OPENS IN FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 18) – A new multi million-dollar water bottling plant has opened in Tavua, Fiji.

[PIR editor’s note: Tavua is located on the northern coast of Viti Levu island in Fiji.]

Dayals (Fiji) Artesian Waters Limited, an associate company of the M. R. Dayal Group of Ba has recently commissioned their state of the art FJ$10 million [US$5.8 million] water bottling plant.

The new plant bottles artesian water in its natural state at Vuqele, Tavua.

Chief operations director Jay Dayal said this was the second largest water bottling plant in Fiji at present.

Mr. Dayal said the project was expected to be a hit both locally and overseas.

He said in its first month of production in November, the company had managed to export its premium brand selling as Island Chill Natural Mineral Water to Australia and New Zealand.

"We are cautious of not being too naïve, but with the superior taste and premium presentation of the product we are confident that once consumers have a feel of it then getting a fair share of the market in the local region will not be a difficult task," he said.

Mr. Dayal said the premium water had a balanced mineral content and contained silica levels in a range that was one of the highest recorded in Fiji so far.

He said their export had been more than what they had anticipated.

"We have exported 30 times the anticipated volume in the first month and managed to sign up a modest 2,000 retailers in both Australia and New Zealand."

He said this showed that the quality of the water and its presentation had spoken and would speak for itself.

Mr. Dayal said their focus was to establish a solid market here.

"We have allocated significant dollars in terms of marketing in the region," he said.

He said after establishing a solid local regional presence, the company's next target would be America.

"This is where we are expected to run on the full capacity of our production plant producing 7,000 cases per day," he said.

Mr. Dayal said the company's founder and managing director Prakash Dayal had placed a lot of effort and time in the project and he believed that the company was here to stay.

Mr. Dayal said plant manager, Praneel Dayal, oversees the production, import and export and human resources. The company also has an Australia-based office and director, Pranesh Dayal who oversees the sales and marketing aspects in the Australasian region.

The plant in Tavua employs around 30 people from the area.

January 19, 2006

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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