The truth about First Solar and Samoa

Dear Editor,

Someone’s not telling the truth here and I’m pointing my finger straight to the government and the head for the local agent for First Solar. 

I don’t blame E.P.C, Office of the Regulator nor the Minister of Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang.

A couple of years back, E.P.C put a hold on this agreement which they were negotiating with the local official, who is on behalf of Solar for Samoa (SfS).

The government stepped in and sent a letter to E.P.C where they put pressure on them to speed up the process and sign the contract. 

It was the ‘hold’ on this negotiation which led the P.M. to call them ‘o solofagua le pelia’ - Tulou. 

Today, he’s realized this as the biggest mistake he’s ever made. So who is the ‘solofagua le pelia’ here? 

In my previous letter, I mentioned this company will cost Samoa heavily. 

I also explained everything in detail including the foreign company, Goldman Sachs, behind First Solar and SfS and how vicious they can be. 

Of course the people thought otherwise and questioned what I wrote on this issue. Some people went as far as calling me names and said it was all a conspiracy theory. 

Now the govt is reeling like a fish that just got speared because of that so-called “conspiracy theory.”

I also mentioned then that there is no way the govt will win this case. First 

Solar, the mother company, owns SfS – SfS answer to its mother company. First Solar will sue them under W.T.O laws. 

As Jack Curtis said, any new V.A.G.S.T law that affects old companies is illegal – it should only affect the new solar companies but not the old solar companies. That is stated very clearly under W.T.O laws.

As I said before, PM Tuilaepa and the govt of Samoa are just ants compared to Goldman Sachs who is the company that First Solar is under. 

They are known to sue govts around the world including America and they’ve won their court cases. This company does not make threats – they make promises.

When they say they’re going to do something, they will - they will win/get their way too. I repeat, this company can bankrupt Samoa with a stroke of a pen and PM Tuilaepa knows it too. The govt will become the biggest loser and the people of this nation will suffer the consequences of their greed and ignorance.

Now some idiots are trying to blame the E.P.C management and its board members for this mess yet they are all puppets to P.M. Tuilaepa – what he demanded them to do, they just simply obeyed.

And why is it that PM Tuilaepa is very elusive and finds it so hard to mention a certain official’s name as the negotiator of SfS?

The Cabinet must look into this official and the local people involved 

in this case. 

I can smell a stinky rat in this case. 

As I said before, I will not blame Jack Curtis and his company but the government for putting Samoa in this position. This is why I’ve called him many times an uneducated fool. To Jack Curtis, the people of this nation ask you to step forward and tell them the Truth of what’s happening with this contract.

The local people (including PM Tuilaepa) that were involved in the negotiations and signing of this contract thought they were going to get a cut out of this deal but instead SfS took it all. That’s business as usual for big companies and why not? After all they are paying the locals to do the work for them.

Jack Curtis and First Solar are not going to sue Samoa for USD $30 Million – they’ll sue Samoa for $100s of Millions. If they go ahead with the project, they will still make $100s of Millions. Either way they win – we lose.

What I don’t understand, is that First Solar is selling solar energy in the 

US and in other countries for US$0.06 cents per unit – but when it comes to Samoa, they’re selling it for US$0.33 cents per unit because of what was agreed upon and contracted between the govt and SfS at the time. 

In the eyes of these foreign investors – a contract is a contract therefore they expect the govt to honor that contract.



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