Fiji Time: 2:19 PM on Tuesday 20 March

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Firms to invest $290m

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, May 29, 2014

TWO investors have shown interest in producing electricity in the country as an Independent Power Producer (IPPs).

Tropik Gimco Bioenergy and Astronergy Solar Korea are looking at investing millions of dollars in the country in the energy sector.

Tropik Gimco Bioenergy's investment will be to the tune of about $70m while Astronergy Solar Korea estimates to inject about $220m on solar energy.

Astronergy Solar Korea Fiji representative Arvind Maharaj says the company has been in discussion with the government to see how they can assist in this sector.

"We have a very good discussion with Fiji Electricity Authority, as well as the relevant government agencies," Mr Maharaj said.

He said their proposal was before FEA and was hopeful the outcome would be positive.

"Astronergy Solar Korea is very keen to commence business and they want to set a 10-megawatt solar farm in the Western Division as a pilot project in the next nine months.

"It's not a guessing game, if I may say so, and we are very committed to setting up a first solar farm in Fiji."

Meanwhile, Tropik Wood Industries Limited executive chairman Faiz Khan said their joint partner Tropik Gimco Bioenergy intended to set up a biomass plant in Nabau at the end of this year.

"It is important to understand that the two key factors that formed the ingredient for a successful biomass plant is the supply chain of biomass and the operational efficiency it can bring in the running of the plant.

"We at Tropik Wood and Fiji Pine are responsible for the supply chain and they bring about the intellectual property into the power plant business that eventually brings about operational efficiency," Mr Khan said.

He said they were excited about it and would also present a proposal to FEA in the coming weeks.

He said this would bring about change in the country such as creating business ventures, generating employment and substituting diesel imported into Fiji.

The Fiji Commerce Commission says it hopes to get more major investments in this sector at the end of the year.

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