TONGA UTILITY PAYS GOVERNMENT $528,000

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DIVIDEND
Money to install underground power lines

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 15, 2010) – Tonga Power Ltd (TPL) made a 1 million pa'anga [US$538,000] dividend payment to the Government on November 10, the first time ever for a government-owned electricity provider.

[PIR editor’s note: Tonga Power Ltd, established in 2008, is a government-owned Electricity Company that works to circulate electricity across four of the main islands of Tongatapu.]

TPL Chief Executive Officer, Peter McGill handed the Minister of Finance, Hon Afu'alo Matoto a 1 million pa'anga [US$538,000] check.

In return the minister handed Tonga Power Ltd. a $1 million pa'anga [US$538,000] check, representing an investment by government to finance the laying of underground cable to supply electricity to the Nuku'alofa Central Business District.

The government is the sole shareholder in Tonga Power Ltd, and the $1million pa'anga [US$538,000] check from government increases the total equity of government in Tonga Power to 36 million pa'anga [US$19.4 million].

Afu'alo explained that the laying of underground cable for telecommunications and electricity is part of a 20 million pa'anga [US$10.8 million] project that is funded by government. The civic work has started with the building of footpaths and a drainage system. The laying of underground cable is scheduled to start early next year.

Sitiveni 'Esau, Tonga Power Ltd's accountant said that the exchange of checks might appear unusual but the underground cable would be a property of government although the work will be carried out by Tonga Power Ltd.

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