FIJI PLANS $8 MILLION RURAL ELECTRIFICATION

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Expanded service aimed at economic development

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Mar. 11, 2010) - The Fiji government has allocated more than FJ$15 million [US$7.7 million] for 65 rural electrification schemes for 2009-2010 with an additional FJ$5 million [US$2.6 million] allocation in the 2010 budget.

Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Timoci Natuva said the government is working to achieve an overall economic growth objective of 1.9 percent this year.

"This is being done through government commitment of allocation of resources and initiatives for infrastructural development in both urban and remote areas of Fiji," Natuva added.

He made the comments after commissioning new [equipment] at the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) power station in Cawaira, Labasa.

The installation of the "gensets" will provide a 50 percent boost in the energy capacity from eight megawatts to 12 megawatts for 12,000 households, businesses, institutions and manufacturing industries in Labasa said Natuva.

He said the new development is expected to boost economic activity in the agriculture, forestry and manufacturing sectors in the northern division.

The new gensets cost FEA around FJ$32 million [US$16.5 million].

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