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Bayly Urges The Changes To Curb High Fuel Import Cost

Bayly Urges The Changes To Curb High Fuel Import Cost
Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Paul Bayly(sitting fifth from left) with stakeholders and participants around the region at Novotel on July 26, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.
July 27
11:40 2017

Urgent changes are required to Fiji’s fuel supply to curb the country’s high import costs, says Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Paul Bayly.

Mr Bayly highlighted the critical need for cleaner fossil fuel technologies to replace existing sources of energy while speaking at a two-day workshop on ‘green finance’ at Novotel Suva Lami Bay yesterday.

“Fiji’s total import bill of over $1 billion has been spent on mineral fuel imports and this is quite alarming considering the size of our economy,” he said.

“With this alarming trend, it is therefore imperative that drastic changes are made concerning Fiji’s fuel supply that is, a shift from non-renewable fossil fuel sources to much more sustainable renewable energy sources.”

Mr Bayly said the Government understood the enterprise could end up being a costly affair yet acknowledged its inviolability.

“As you know, with Government’s commitment to increase the share of renewable energy in our fuel mix, this will come at a great cost and that significant investments will need to be made.

“With increased investment from the private sector within Fiji’s power sector, this will mean that Government will be able to allocate more resources to other equally-pressing needs for example the Education Sector, the Health Sector, so on and so forth.”

Kamleshwar Khelawan, a senior energy specialist at the World Bank, gave an  overview of the bank’s sustainable energy financing programmes so far conducted in the Pacific.

He reiterated the international financial institution’s commitment in helping Fiji achieve its renewable energy goals.

A fisherman from Kia Island, Joseva Tuinamerau, who travelled to Suva to speak at the workshop, said he agreed with Mr Bayly.

Mr Tuinamerau, a recipient of a loan from Fiji Development Bank for his project said: “Many people on my island received this loan, and like me, it helped them quite a lot. Today we are able to send our children to school because of our successful work.”
The workshop ends today.

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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