SHIPPING

Government Fleet To Have 13 Vessels By 2021

The allocation of $2.3 million for shipping services subsidy was also welcomed by Mr Usamate.
19 Jun 2019 14:15
Government Fleet To Have 13 Vessels By 2021
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Jone Usamate and SODELPA MP Ro Teimumu Kepa outside Parliament. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Government, through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has targeted to acquire its inter-island shipping vessels to a fleet of 13 by 2021.

Minister of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological services Jone Usamate yesterday while confirming the number said this was in line with Government’s five and 20-year National Development Plan (NDP)for shipping services in the country.

“The Government’s intent to have a fleet of 13 vessels is to assist all rural maritime development programmes through the cartage of fleet and transfer of Government officials, in some circumstances, passengers also,” Mr Usamate said

“This target will be met with the procurement of a new vessel planned to be delivered in 2020 (next year as per the budget allocation of $3 million in the 2019-2020 budget allocation,” he said

“The construction of this new vessel will take fourteen (14) months to complete and is expected to be delivered by October 2020 according to plan.

He said the inclusion of the new vessel to the Department of Government Shipping Services fleet will assist Government deploy ships in a more timely and consistent manner, as per vessel request from various Government departments.

“In certain circumstances, priority scheduling of vessels will occur to alleviate the challenges faced in our maritime islands.”

SHIPPING SERVICES SUBSIDY (SSS)

The allocation of $2.3 million for shipping services subsidy was also welcomed by Mr Usamate.

Mr Usamate said the allocation will cater for the servicing of the nine (9) routes in the remote islands of Fiji termed as Uneconomical Routes.

“The SSS provides a total of 14 trips in a month to these routes in which five (5) routes are serviced twice a month and four (4) routes serviced once a month.

“This allocation is targeted to enable shipping service providers deliver safe, reliable and consistent shipping services to maritime communities.

“Through these consistent services, maritime communities are able to generate social economic activities which will give them an opportunity to improve their livelihood.”

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