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Divestment To See formulation Of Port Development Master Plan

The partial divestment of Fiji Ports Corporation will see the formulation of a Port Development Master Plan. Fiji Ports Corporation, together with its new shareholders, Fiji National Provident Fund and
11 Nov 2015 08:08
Divestment To See formulation Of Port Development Master Plan
Shaheen Ali.

The partial divestment of Fiji Ports Corporation will see the formulation of a Port Development Master Plan.

Fiji Ports Corporation, together with its new shareholders, Fiji National Provident Fund and Sir Lankan firm Aitken Spence, will jointly be responsible for this.

Permanent Secretary for Industry Trade and Tourism and acting PS Public Enterprises, Shaheen Ali, said the plan would assist with the future development of Fijian ports.

“This Master Plan is vital to ensuring that any future port development is properly considered for the country as a whole,” he said.

“One of their KPI was to develop this master plan because the capacity of our ports at the moment is at full capacity.

“The infrastructure is pretty bad – it has deteriorated to a stage that certain parts of the port cannot even be used for cargo loading.”

As Fiji positions itself as the hub of the Pacific, Mr Ali said we cannot get away from the fact that we will need a new port in the near future.

“Given if Fiji keeps growing at this rate and our annual trade keep growing at the rate of 10 to 11 per cent, we will need a new port pretty soon,” he said.

“Coupled with the fact if Suva or Lautoka becomes a cruise destination, then definitely there will be capacity issues.

“So ports development master plan is something that we are looking towards.”

The formulation of the Port Development Mast Plan will also be supported through technical assistance by the Asian Development Bank.

Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during his 2016 National Budget announcement confirmed an agreement has already been signed with ADB.

 

The sale

Following the sale, Government will maintain 41 per cent of the shares in Fiji Ports, while FNPF will own 39 per cent and Aitken Spence 20 per cent.

This means 80 per cent of the shares in Fiji Ports Corporation Limited will remain Fijian-owned.

The divestment of the shares plus some residual payments will net the Fijian government a total of approximately $100 million for 59 per cent of the company.

Government intends to settle the sale by this Friday as per indications by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum the past week.

The divestment is seen to bring with it a number of opportunities to develop Fiji as a key transhipment hub with internationally recognised port managers.

Government is confident the Consortium will introduce port management and development best practices that will increase vessel calls and cargo throughput.

It is also confident it will increase Fiji Ports’ profitability, develop Suva and Lautoka as preferred ports of call and position Fiji’s ports as a regional and international hub.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 



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