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U.S., New Zealand firms propose biomass, hydro-power plants

By Caroline Ratucadra SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Sept. 30, 2011) – Two international investors have shown interest in setting up renewable energy projects at two sites in the Northern Division.

In Labasa, Delta Renewable Energy’s first 8.5 MWe biomass fuelled facility is scheduled for completion in March next year. The New Zealand-owned company is the Pacific’s newest entrant into the renewable energy power generation market.

The second company, which is American-owned, intends to set up a hydro power generation facility at Wailevu East in Cakaudrove.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun, Commissioner Northern Lieutenant-Colonel Ilai Moceica said the two renewable energy companies have secured the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Fiji Electricity Authority. This means that the two companies will be producing power and selling it to FEA. Lieutenant-Colonel Moceica said Fiji had the capacity to tap into renewable energy that could contribute not only towards a greener and cleaner environment but also help reduce our reliance on fossil fuel.

According to the Delta Renewable Energy’s website, it stated that their facility will provide a constant feed of fresh electricity utilising biomass materials sourced from local growers.

"The project budget is set at USD$43 million (FJ$79m), an investment which incorporates all aspects of the project including biomass management and processing, logistics and the facility itself."

As for the source of energy for hydro to be established in Wailevu East, Lieutenant-Colonel Moceica said this was positive because power would be produced from rainfall and river which is free, clean and renewable.

Lieutenant-Colonel Moceica said the establishment of these two renewable energy companies in Vanua Levu was in line with Government’s focus to reduce the country’s reliance on imported diesel fuel used for generating electricity and to spearhead further development plans.

The Commissioner Northern revealed that the company interested to set-up in Wailevu-East will be meeting landowners next Monday.

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