Bid to harness private sector expertise

ATTORNEY-GENERAL and Minister for Public Enterprises Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the corporatisation of Fiji Electricity Authority, now Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL), allows Government to look at divesting some of its shares to strategic partners.

“And it gives us the opportunity to harness private sector expertise, innovation and efficiency in new ways and accelerate the expansion of clean and renewable energy throughout the country,” he said.

“So in that respect, yes, it’s a new era, it signals the fact that it’s been corporatised and it signals the fact that there’s a new focus now.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Government, through its COP 23 commitment on the overall NDCs, made a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2030.

“As part of this we need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and the two key areas where we can do this; where we can actually plan efficiency, is through the energy and transportation sectors.”

EFL chairman Daksesh Patel said with corporatisation EFL had now taken a new direction and the board and management had to ensure things ran more as a company rather than a Government statutory authority.

“In terms of the future of EFL, the Bainimarama Government is very clear on becoming renewable energy-focused and reducing the carbon footprint.

“We are now undertaking probably the largest solar energy project in the South Pacific of five megawatts which is being set up somewhere in Nadi,” Mr Patel said.

He said they were also looking at additional solar power projects and upgrading the system of hydro to increase the capacity and there was the ongoing capital program over the long-term with capital expenditure of more than $1 billion.

“These are just some of the ongoing exercise we’ve been pursuing to ensure the Fiji becomes 100 per cent renewable energy efficient as per the objectives stated by Government,” Mr Patel said.

Meanwhile Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said all EFL customers who were domestic account holders and were resident Fijian citizens would be offered a parcel of 250 shares if they were subsidised under the Electricity Subsidy Scheme with non-subsidised customers being offered 150 shares.

“So we can all be proud that it is low-income households who will be the biggest beneficiaries from this corporatisation,” he said.

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