10 Apr 2006

Tongan government looks at value of electricity assets as it considers buy back

7:04 am on 10 April 2006

The Tongan government says it is working with overseas consultants on the value of the electricity assets in the kingdom as it looks to partner a private investor in their ownership.

The ownership of electricity generation and distribution assets are currently owned by Shoreline, but the government is interested in taking them back.

However it's also seeking expressions of interest from suitable investors.

Paula Ma'u from the Prime Minister's Office, says the government hopes to have a share in the electricty assets by the end of the year.

"Maybe for a couple of months, I'll say 4 to 6 months. It depends on the work of the committee it could be shorter than that, but I'll say 3 to 6 months."

The move comes following criticism in recent years of the high cost of electricity and the management of Shoreline.