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Ports Chief: Derelict Salvaging To Cost $61m

Ports Chief: Derelict Salvaging To Cost $61m
Suspended Police officers Kelepi Kolinisau (left) followed by Selema Tikoenaburevere outside Court on November 16, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.
May 29
13:26 2018

Fiji Ports Corporation Limited chief executive officer Vajira Piyasena says it will cost $61.88 million to salvage 20 derelict vessels in the Suva and Lautoka harbours.

Mr Piyasena told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Welfare in Suva yesterday that the salvaging costs would be paid by the vessels’ owners.

Mr Piyasena said there were 10 priority vessels that needed to be removed from the Suva Harbour.

They are: Southern Phoenix, Tuka­natuku, Degei II, Western Pacific, Tug 7, Shan Yu 16, Victory II, Barge Dautukidu­ru, Sun Star and Lady Geraldine.

In 2015 and 2016 two derelict vessels were removed from the Suva Harbour were MV Tovuto and MV Sea Love. This cost of more than $305,000.

Mr Piyasena provided the details while presenting the Fiji Ports Corporation Limited 2016 Annual Report.

He said under the Sea Port Management Act of 2005, the salvage of the 20 vessels was the responsibility of Fiji Ports Cor­poration and vessel owners.

“We and the Maritime Safety Author­ity of Fiji have issued removal notice to all vessel owners and discussed it with them,” he said.

“We do not have the funds and equip­ment to salvage those vessels that are close to the ports. All of these vessels need to have insurance which will assist owners in the salvaging of the vessels.

“Most of the locally owned inter-island and fishing vessels do not have insurance which makes them take long in the sal­vaging of the vessels,” he said.

He alleged that before some local scrap metal companies boarded the vessels and stripped parts of the boats for their own use.

“This used to happen seven to eight years ago which resulted in the sinking and capsizing of these vessels,” he said.

“We have placed restrictions to the scrap metal companies to remove and to work on the vessels.”

Edited by Ranona Baoa



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