SUNBIZ

Electric Park And Maui Castle Plan By Skyline

Skyline Group, an investment firm with Chinese/Hong Kong links, is working towards setting up an electrical goods manufacturing plant in Navua. The company is set to invest approximately US$100 million
18 Jul 2015 11:01
Electric Park And Maui Castle Plan By Skyline
Skyline Group chief operating officer, Alan Cheng, shows the Maui Castle model which is being planned to be developed by the Group in Maui Bay. Photo: RAMA

Skyline Group, an investment firm with Chinese/Hong Kong links, is working towards setting up an electrical goods manufacturing plant in Navua.

The company is set to invest approximately US$100 million (FJ$214 million) in what it calls will be called an Electric Park.

When travelling from Suva towards the West, the site is located just before the Navua Hospital and is hard to miss. Preliminary work is underway.

The Electric Park will be used to manufacture household and business electrical items for the local market and export. It will be a first for Fiji.

In addition to this, the group is also planning on a major tourism development in Maui Bay along the Coral Coast.

This investment will see development of Maui Castle inclusive of villas and resort on the hillside and overlooking the ocean.

At present, approximately US$100 million (FJ$214 million) is being forecast to be invested in the Maui Castle.

However, this figure could increase depending if the size of the project increases.

We conducted an in-depth interview with the chief operating officer of Skyline Estate Investment Group, Alan Cheng and Senior Project officer, Salabogi Mataika Mafi, on the two investment areas.

Skyline is looking at making electrical appliances more affordable through local manufacturing.

Skyline has acquired seven lots from the Namelimeli Mataqali for the development of the Electric Park.

It has conducted the environmental impact assessment, geotechnical survey and basically the first phase is now completed.

The company is now awaiting approval from the Town and Country Planning before it can move on to Phase two of its development.

Mr Mafi said phase two could include the appointment of an architectural company to design the building concept for the Electric Park.

He said the geotechnical survey was conducted to see whether the area was stable or not given it was swampy.

But, he said clearance was given and the area is stable enough for development and construction.

 

Employment

Mr Mafi confirmed once the Electric Park is all set-up, 60 per cent of the employment at the centre will be for locals.

However, he said they would need foreign skilled workers given that electrical manufacturing was a new area being tapped into in Fiji and there are hardly any skills in this area here.

He has however assured majority of the unskilled labours would be those from the Namelimelu community who will be given first priority for employment.

 

The concept

The idea of setting up the Electric Park came about when the directors of Skyline are understood to have come to Fiji for their Maui Bay project.

Mr Cheng said the directors saw the large number of Chinese electrical appliances stacked in the stores.

“They realised there are no companies to manufacture the goods in Fiji,” he said.

“Fiji being in the centre of the Pacific has a lot of potential to export to countries even such as New Zealand and Australia who import from China and it becomes expansive for them.”

Mr Cheng said they are confident they will also be able to export their products into the American and the European markets from Fiji.

 

Target and timeframe

Skyline is targeting to have the Electric Park ready to be gin operations by the end of next year.

This is provided there are no delays in further approvals.

But in the meanwhile, Skyline wants to begin assembling products as soon as possible.

Mr Cheng confirmed they are looking at renting out space to start operations immediately.

Once the building in Navua is finished, then they can either shift or continue with both the operations.

 

Maui Bay Castle

Meanwhile, the Skyline Group has purchased 75 lots in Maui Bay and reserved another 96 lots for the development of a “hillside castle”.

Mr Mafi said they plan to build 20-storey resort along with villas on the hillside but the design will depend on the geotechnical report.

“We are looking at the contours and all. It is a hilly area but it does overlook the sea,” he said.

Mr Mafi said they wanted to look at investing in a hillside resort because of the growing preference of the Asians in eco-tourism.

Mr Chang said China does not have many nice beaches but they are developing these mountain resorts.

 

Current stage

For Maui Bay Castle, Mr Mafi said they are just looking at the engineering plan and they have come up with some issues.

“Just looking at the contours, we are trying to figure out how to put up the buildings,” he said.

“We are still looking at engineering to come up with a proper plan as to how best to build.

“The directors want Maui Bay to become a world class place and put Fiji on a spot as one place you must visit.

“We are looking to make it way better than Denarau.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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