The construction of the multi-million-dollar marina at the Pearl South Pacific Resort and Spa in Pacific Harbour is set to turn the getaway into a world-class tourist resort.
And its progress and returns are closely monitored by stakeholders of developers Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) in Papua New Guinea.
MRDC chairman Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc said the $8m marina investment was one of the company’s first major development projects outside of PNG and engaging professionals and independent experts had been a priority for MRDC.
“I had reservations about this investment before coming here (Fiji). I’m now satisfied it has all the hallmarks of a successful project. The owners should be proud that their resort is the envy of others in a competitive market,” Sir Manasupe said at the recent commissioning of the marina.
“The $8m marina was designed by Australian-based Marina International, designer of Singapore’s Kepple Bay Marina and Dubai’s 3km, 800 berth Marina — both first class projects.
“This facility will add considerable value to the resort’s investment. It is infrastructure investments like a marina that increase property values, and as a result we have seen an increase in our property value by around 8-10 per cent.
“Building a marina in Fiji is basically a necessity given the resort provides considerable diving, fishing and other water sports as part of its packages.”
Sir Manasupe said the completion of the marina marked the first major milestone within the 22-month overall development program. Since taking over the hotel and the 200-acre freehold golf course in August last year, he said, MRDC had set a course to developing a further 150 rooms in addition to the existing 80 rooms, a marina, new conference facilities, a wellness centre, chapel and new food and beverage outlets.
“The total construction budget is $85m, not $US99 million as reported by The National newspaper. The project has sought a $40m construction loan that will improve investor returns that fall within MRDC guidelines,” he said.
The Pearl Resort is jointly owned by landowners from the Ok Tedi Mine area, and villagers from the Kutubu oil and gas project area in the Southern Highlands Province. MRDC manages their assets and investments.