‘Lack of fuel leads to closure’

THE $100 million Nabou Green Energy Ltd (NGEL) power plant had shut down in December last year because it lacked fuel.

This, according to Tropik Wood Industries Ltd — the local company which had a 25 per cent stake in the much touted renewable energy factory.

Senior manager human resources and risk Tausia Alifereti said Tropik Wood surrendered its 25 per cent stake in NGEL because of the failure of the organisation to maintain fuel supply and its inability to consistently maintain operations since its establishment in 2017.

He said the surrender of Tropik Wood’s 25 per cent stake did not contribute to the closure of the plant in December last year.

“There is no link between the surrender of Tropik’s shares and operations of the power plant by NGEL,” Mr Alifereti said.

“Due to lack of fuel, the plant failed to operate consistently for any reasonable periods of time since its operations commenced in August 2017. “The plant has been non-operational for weeks at a time since August 2017.

“In order for the plant to operate successfully it fundamentally requires cheap sustainable source of biomass fuel.

“In the initial business model, fuel was to be provided through short rotation crops (SRCs) that the Korean investors were to have the know-how on. “SRCs are quick growing plantations that mature in two years’ time.

“Unfortunately, the trials conducted by the Korean investors on the SRCs failed.

“Tropik had obtained its 25 per cent shares for free for its local knowledge and strategic support.

“Tropik surrendered its free shares due to a number of fundamentals not being followed by NGEL.

“Tropik was not responsible for any aspects of the operations of the plant. “All contracts relating to the plant are between NGEL and the respective parties.”

NGEL’s Korean shareholders are Gimcao Company Ltd, GS Power Co Ltd and Mirae Asset Daewoo Ltd.

The company’s local team leader, Avijit Chowdhury, maintained last week the shutdown was temporary and that shareholders were planning a “proper start” and this was taking time.

The power plant was opened by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum on July 27, 2017.

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