FIJI’S GHOSTLY GRAND PACIFIC HOTEL TO BE REFURBISHED

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FIJI’S GHOSTLY GRAND PACIFIC HOTEL TO BE REFURBISHED Fiji, PNG retirement funds to invest in $44 million project

By Tevita Vuibau SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Aug. 8, 2011) – [Plans to refurbish the historic] Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) [on the Suva, Fiji waterfront] will cost in excess of PGK$100 million (USD$43.9 million) says Papua New Guinea’s National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND) chief executive Rod Mitchell.

Mitchell said NASFUND had already successfully upgraded a similar hotel to GPH in the Solomon Islands.

The GPH project will be carried out in a partnership between the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), NASFUND and Lamana Development Limited.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said the partnership between PNG and Fiji to upgrade to GPH demonstrated the growing economic strength of the two countries.

"It indicates to us the enormous economic potential and synergies that can be developed between Fiji and Papua New Guinea," said Commodore Bainimarama.

"Papua New Guinea has a highly developed and rich mineral and gas resource sector. Fiji offers many opportunities in agriculture, tourism, services, manufacturing, Information Technology and Computing (ITC), property development, retailing and growth of financial markets."

He said the developments would bring the "Grand Old Lady" into the 21st century.

"At the end of the redevelopment, GPH will have a total of 113 rooms with a 5 star standard including a 600 seat state of the art conference facilities."

He said construction would begin in November of this year with work expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2013.

The GPH was built in 1914 and for a number of years it was the premier accommodation in Suva. Also visiting dignitaries to Fiji and the South Pacific including members of the British Royal family have stayed at the GPH.

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