We're Making Waves in Fiji

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Nice to see that our work on China’s overseas dam builders is making waves in Fiji. A civil society group with a strong reputation as an independent government watchdog has questioned the credibility of Sinohydro, the main contractor in a large dam project on the Pacific island, because of its safety and environmental record. Here is a news report from the Fiji Times.

Builder queried
The Fiji Times, Monday, September 15, 2008

THE Pacific Centre for Public Integrity has questioned the credibility of Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese company signed up by the Fiji Electricity Authority to build the Nadarivatu dam.

The $230million project was signed last week. Angie Heffernan of PCPI says the company has a poor safety record.

“According to International Rivers’ latest report on China’s overseas dam industry, Sinohydro has a poor environmental and safety record,” she said.

“In 2004 to 2006, China’s State Assets and Supervision Administration Commission reprimanded the company on its performance and in 2006 gave Sinohydro a grade D due to violation of environmental and safety standards.” she said.

Fiji Electricity Authority is expected to comment today.

Ms Heffernan has questioned on the cost and benefit of such a development project to the general public, and importantly the environmental and safety issues around the construction of the dam.

PCPI says that FEA needs to come clean to the public and the landowner’s of Nadarivatu on whether a proper transparent tender process was undertaken and if so who were the other companies that applied to undertake the project.

Sinohydro Corporation is a state owned enterprise and is the largest hydropower dam building company is China. (ENDS)

The Pacific Centre for Public Integrity has taken a strong stance on human rights and pro-democracy issues in Fiji. We are happy to see our report proves to be useful, and send our best wishes from Berkeley across the Pacific. 

Peter Bosshard is the policy director of International Rivers. His blog, Wet, Wild and Wonky, appears at www.internationalrivers.org/en/blog/peter-bosshard