29 Jan 2007

Tonga business concerned at power prices as Government plans to spend millions to buy back supplier

7:25 pm on 29 January 2007

The Tongan chamber of commerce says it is concerned about a rise in power prices after the government announced plans to buy the Shoreline power company from a company partly owned by King George Tupou 5th.

The government says it spent two million US dollars on power bills and needs to raise funds of 60 million US dollars to buy the company, after a New zealand power company dropped plans to buy uit.

The chamber of commerce president, Tapu Banuve, says it is worried at the impact on power prices.

"We are really concerned about the rates that are being charged to our members and the end users and the process for arriving at those rates. At this stage we don't really have a comment on parties interested in buying the power group."

Mr Banuve says the chamber's priority is to lower power rates and make the pricing processes more transparent.