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‘Confidential’ project aims beyond fossil fuels

By Ashwini Prasad

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 19, 2008) - A Fiji company has partnered [with] Hyundai Australia to look at developing alternative and renewable energy.

Fleet Serve Fiji Limited, located on Grantham Road, in Raiwaqa, Suva, is a partner in the project to help find alternatives to fossil fuels.

Managing director Jack Reddy said his company would test all Hyundai products, like cars and generators that use renewable energy.

"And that has got us to start this renewable energy power generation for Fiji," he said.

Former Fiji Electricity Authority engineer Abraham Simpson, is also working with Fleet Serve as a project consultant.

Mr. Reddy said they had just started and were looking and working on a number of projects.

"The project is confidential at this stage à we will release details once we near finalization," he said.

Reddy said many hotels and resort had enquired about solar power. The company hopes to work with Fiji Electricity Authority once the projects get started.

He said outer islands resorts were asking about the possibility of switching from diesel generators to solar power.

"And even large factories are talking to us, we have to look at design concept and see how we can accommodate solar into these projects," Reddy said.

Mr. Simpson said rising fuel costs had become a global issue and energy was a major economic driver.

"Fiji needs to look at alternatives and we got good solar potential, the sun and wind are another option," he said.

"What we are looking at are opportunities in these areas where we can come in and help businesses and people to source most of the energy from renewable sources, that's the future," Simpson said.

He said Hyundai Australia produced heavy fuel oil and that would help reduce their fuel bill.

"HFO is cheaper than normal diesel and it will help economies à if you quickly want to reduce fuel bills you may use HFO instead of diesel. "However, it is not part of the renewable profile," Simpson said.

Fleet Serve energy engineer Soheb Khan said Fiji had only recently tapped into solar energy as a viable source of renewable energy.

Mr. Khan said, despite our relative inexperience, solar energy might easily become the most important energy source of the future, both at the economic and domestic levels.

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