CNMI governor also talks to island’s power authority officials
SUVA, Fiji—In his first off-island state visit to a foreign country, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, legislators, and Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board members traveled to Fiji on a two-pronged mission over the past weekend. The first objective was to re-affirm the historical friendship between the peoples of the Commonwealth and the Republic of Fiji.
During the trip, Torres paid a courtesy visit to Fiji President George Konrote and U.S. Ambassador Judith B. Cefkin (Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu). Torres expressed the CNMI’s commitment to regional initiatives for the improvement of living standards, trade opportunities, and public health for the people of the Pacific.
The second mission was to meet with the Fiji Electric Authority as part of the Pacific Power Authority, whose mission is to improve the quality of utility services and electrical power in the region through cooperative efforts among island utilities, the private sector, and international donors.
As a member of the PPA, the CNMI joins other regional islands and nations to pool their resources and expertise for the common benefits to the islands, gain international representation, and improve access to international power sector assistance programs. It was under this agreement that utility personnel from Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and Guam were mobilized to assist the island of Saipan after Typhoon Soudelor.
The Fiji Electric Authority’s mission is to provide clean and affordable energy solutions for the Fijian people with at least 90 percent of the energy requirements coming through renewable sources by 2025. This goal is nearly the same mission the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has set out for the Northern Mariana Islands.
While in Fiji, Torres will also be reaching out to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community of which the CNMI holds memberships to renew the CNMI’s participation.
The mission was funded by the Office of the Governor at the invitation of the Fijian Electric Authority with official courtesies extended by the Government of Fiji and the U.S. Embassy to Fiji.
Torres will return to Saipan on Thursday.