New Fiji Mineral Water Factory Gets Go Ahead

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Government ready to offer company 99-year conditional lease

By Maciu Malo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 5, 2015) – The first phase of a $60m mineral water factory at Nadelei, Tavua, is expected to be completed at the end of this month after Government issued Korean Resort Company (Fiji) Ltd a 99-year special buffer zone lease.

A copy of the lease document sent to this newspaper stated the new bottling water company was first issued a 30-year lease in July, 2003. It said upon satisfactory completion of the special development lease (water factory), a 99-year lease would be granted.

Company director Young Gee Chang said the new bottling water company would employ hundreds of locals and generate $45million in revenue per year for the Government under the new water extraction tax of 15 cents per litre.

He said the first phase of work would cost $15m which would cover for the development of six bore-holes and the first stage of factory construction.

Mr Chang said the second and third phases of work would cost $15m and $30m respectively.

"We were just waiting for the lease approval and we are happy to finally to start the work in January," he said.

The bottled water is expected to be exported to markets in China, Korea, India and Indonesia targeting more than 1 billion people.

He said the company had targeted an annual production of 300 million litres.

Ministry of Lands permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa said the multi-million-dollar project would generate revenue to the Government and create employment to locals.

He said the project was in line with the Government's commitment of promoting development to benefit the people of Fiji.

Mr Boseiwaqa said the investment was also the result of a partnership between the Land Use Department and the Department of Lands.

"This is a success story of the land bank concept where we worked closely with the Lands Department in identifying idle lands for development purposes," he said.

"The investors have been well-screened before being given the green light to develop the land.

"This investment will rake in millions of dollars to the economy at the same time create employment for the people."

Mr Boseiwaqa said the new company would also attract new mineral water markets.

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