SHIPPING

New $3.5m Barge Ready To Serve Resorts

According to company managing director Ajai Punja the barge was brought in by a Dutch crew.
13 Jan 2021 15:56
New $3.5m Barge Ready To Serve Resorts
New barge Bluegas at Kings Wharf in Suva on January 12, 2021.

Petroleum and Gas Company (FIJI) Limited’s $3.5 million barge Bluegas, finally disembarked at the Kings Wharf in Suva yesterday after its crew completed their 14-day isolation in the Suva Harbour.

The new barge arrived a few weeks late due to unfavourable weather conditions on its way from India.

According to company managing director Ajai Punja the barge was brought in by a Dutch crew.

“They (crew) had to observe the 14-day isolation before they can call into the Suva port,” Mr Punjas said.

Petroleum and Gas Company (FIJI) Limited is trading as Blue Gas Fiji.

Mr Punja said they would now wait for the clearance from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS).

“We will start operation once the green light is given,” said Mr Punja.

“With Bluegas we hope to improve the safety standards of barges in Fiji,” Mr Punja said.

Bluegas will be used to cart goods, Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) and general cargo to the island resorts in the Mamanuca and Yasawa area.

“We also plan to do milk runs on certain days.We can also carry water and fuel as all tanks are double walled for safety.”

Bluegas was designed by the Australian Marine Technology (AMT) of Queensland, Australia and the construction work was done at the AMT shipyard in India from 2019.

The barge also brought two 200 tonnes storage tanks which will store Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at the company’s new and now under construction LPG terminal located off Queens Road outside Suva.

Blue Gas Fiji is a subsidiary of Hari Punja and Sons Limited; it was officially commissioned by the late Prime Minister and paramount chief of Lau Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara on April 4, 1990.

The company has been in operation for 30 years.

“This barge conforms to the Australian Marine Standard, that is the Lloyd’s standards and it is Lloyds registered,” Mr Punja said.

“Most importantly with Bluegas, we hope to improve customer service to all island resorts with efficient and timely deliveries and service.

“We need not wait for the high tide to carry out our work.

“With Bluegas, we can go any time as our draft is only 1.2 metres.”

This is not the first time the company has invested on a barge.

“Previously, we had our own gas tanker/carrier called Magellan that carted gas for us from New Zealand to our Vuda terminal,” he said.

Bluegas has a length of 25metres and a width of seven metres.

It can carry 85 metric tonnes of weight.

The barge can carry 12 passenger and six to 10 crew members directly or indirectly depending on where the barge is destined to anchor.

The barge has a maximum speed of 10 knots and service speed of eight knots.

Feedback: lusiana.tuimaisala@fijisun.com.fj


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