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A-G Outlines Govt Plans For Energy Fiji Limited (EFL)

A-G Outlines Govt Plans For Energy Fiji Limited (EFL)
From left, Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau, Minister for Agriculture and Leader of Government Business in Parliament Inia Seruiratu with Opposition Member of Parliament Parmod Chand outside Parliament on May 15, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar
May 16
12:55 2018

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has highlighted plans for Energy Fiji Limited, formerly known as the Fiji Electricity Authority, in Parliament.

One major plan he reiterated was the national commitment to reduce Fiji’s dependency on fossil fuels and its carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2030.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said one could not just flick their fingers and get renewable energy technology installed overnight because it took years.

Highlighting some of the ongoing projects for EFL, he said that a study had already been completed on the recommendations regarding the global green growth institute to undertake the 100 per cent renewable energy project in Ovalau and Taveuni.

He said the Government was looking at the installation of about 1.55 megaWatts on the islands.

On the Namosi Hydro power project, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said EFL had carried out a very good commercial arrangement, where it would build the dam to generate electricity.

EFL would buy the energy produced at a particular cost.

He said there were many people in the independent power producer (IPP) world that would come and say that they want to generate electricity, but we have ensured that they are commercially viable for EFL.

He added that current EFL chairman Dakshesh Patel had brought about a breath of fresh air in terms of his capacity to be able to negotiate such commercial arrangements.

“Gone are the days where we simply need people who just know about engineering and generation, we need to take a holistic commercial approach,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He also highlighted that there were also initiatives to connect electricity to the isolated villages, settlements and islands.

If the Government wanted to ensure that people at the lower social economic scale received affordable electricity, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that Government should pay for it.

He said as a government, it was their responsibility to look after its citizens, particularly those who were not well off.

He added that EFL was not a private company, it was still owned by the Fijian Government.

Even in the divestment of shares, the Government would still own 51 per cent of the shares.

This was why the Government subsidised 50 per cent of the electricity cost to households earning less than $30,000 a year.

Most Fijians who never had electricity were grateful for the fact that now they were connected to electricity irrespective of the sources of electricity.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that the Government was paying various numbers of projects for EFL that was now on foot.

EFL is also looking at setting up a subsidiary company through which they can be joint venture.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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