Over four million dollars has been allocated in the 2023–2024 budget to help Energy Fiji Limited clear its backlog of projects from 2018.
Minister for Infrastructure Ro Filipe Tuisawau says these projects involve extending the grid and wiring houses in rural areas, benefiting 1,500 households across 111 projects.
Ro Filipe says this will include the 140 projects that are pending as of 2018.
“As I mentioned, there is a backlog, and this includes ongoing projects for grid extensions, totalling 140 projects from 2018–2019 that are worth about $12.1 million, 21–22, and $2.05 million. In the years 2022–23 and 2023–24, up to $15.9 million.”
Infrastructure Minister, Ro Filipe Tuisawau.
Ro Filipe also highlighted some of the challenges faced by EFL that caused delays in the grid extension project in the provinces of Nadroga, Ra, Cakaudrove, Macuata, and Naitasiri.
“Of course, there is high staff turnover, not only in EFL but also in the Department of Energy. Of course, we face the issue of COVID-19. There have been issues with revised standards and costs, global supply chain issues in terms of such technical equipment, inclement weather, and finally, the challenges of our rural roads in terms of access.”
The Minister confirms they have requests from other areas in upper Naitasiri and Cakaudrove provinces to be connected to the EFL grid.