31 Jul 2012

Tonga considers direct fuel shipments from Singapore

4:02 pm on 31 July 2012

The government in Tonga is looking to ship fuel directly from Singapore to Tongatapu in an effort to save millions of dollars a year.

Tonga currently ships fuel via Fiji at 170 US dollars a tonne, with storage fees on top of that.

Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, says if an agreement is reached to ship fuel directly from Singapore they would pay just 70 dollars a tonne.

He says this should lead to reductions in power generation.

"Currently we are using the normal diesel, if we use heavy fuel then there'll be another drop of between 27 and 30 cents per litre on the fuel for the power generation. That should help, what New Zealand has given us solar power, so that should reduce the cost of power generation."

Samiu Vaipulu says it's hoped the proposal for direct bulk fuel shipping from Singapore can be distributed to cabinet members by Friday.