Sailing Back This Year!

2015 has been a BIG year in the country’s shipping industry. We bring you some of the highlights of this year’s shipping activities.    JANUARY  Fiji Ships & Heavy Industries
30 Dec 2015 10:21
Sailing Back This Year!

2015 has been a BIG year in the country’s shipping industry. We bring you some of the highlights of this year’s shipping activities.   


 Fiji Ships & Heavy Industries Limited said part of its growth in 2014 was through a sub-contracting initiative. Operations manager, Lopeti Radravu said the sub-contracted water blasting function in-house which came into effect last July boosted the company’s profitability.

 Inter-island trucking company Narovatu Trucks was looking at expanding their business. The company that services the island of Koro was looking at branching out to Vanua Levu and Vanuabalavu in Lau.

 Ship owners met to discuss the move made by the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF), in stopping ships that are more than 20-years old from servicing our waters. The MSAF, had announced ships that are 20 years or older will no longer be registered to service our water with effect from January 1, this year. The changes are in accordance with the Ship Registration (Amendment) Act 2014 in which, MSAF says, will ensure safety standards and encourage vessel owners to bring in new ships.



 Revamping works done at the Mua-i-Walu Port in Walu Bay. Fiji Ports Corporation Limited chief executive officer Vajira Piyasena said new measures are expected to reduce congestion in the loading area.

 A local shipping company Valesasa Transportation Company did not agree with the new law implemented by MSAF, in stopping ships that are 20 years or older from servicing our waters.

Company manager Ilaitia Caginavanua said majority of the vessels bought from overseas, undergo major repair works to improve their standard before it is passed by MSAF

 MSAF manager standard and compliance John Tunidau is now the acting chief executive officer. He takes over from Neale Slack.

 Xinfa Aurum Bauxite Company is planning to make 10 shipments to China, this year. The Chinese mining company was also handed their second lease documents, from the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mereseini Vuniwaqa

 Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Francis Kean clarified MSAF’s law in stopping vessels that are 20 years old and over from servicing our waters.

He said this is done so operators or vessel owners have purchased a vessel that meets current international requirements and are compliant with recent changes in Fiji’s domestic law.

Also the operators or vessel owners have more operational life expectancy of the vessel with less maintenance costs.

The travelling public is provided with safe, secure, and efficient shipping. The State complies with its international obligations with the provision of modern, reliable, safe and secure shipping.  The structure,

machinery and equipment of such second-hand vessels meet the latest international requirements.

Imported second-hand vessels would have sound hulls because of metal wear on the underwater hull (which is 1mm in every nine years).

The fuel efficiency of engines will greatly reduce emissions from engines such as Sulphur Oxides (SOx), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and particulate matter.

 Goundar Shipping Limited announced that its vessel, the MV Lomaiviti Princess 1 would undergo a major refurbishment.



 Fiji Maritime Academy achieved an important milestone after being awarded with an International Organisation for Standardisation. Academy CEO and director in charge Captain Suren Gurusinghe said the ISO certification is only awarded to companies who have undergone stringent auditing of its procedures to meet international standards.

 Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Francis Kean reiterated the importance for ship owners to follow all safety procedures.

This was after an incident where two men lost their lives after they were alleged to have inhaled harmful chemicals on a vessel anchored at Lami Bay.

 Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was the chief guest in the rebranding of the School of Maritime Studies to the Fiji Maritime Academy. FMA is now under the management group of Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College

 Permanent Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Francis Kean made submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee indicating that they have reduced the routes under the franchise scheme from 10 to nine.

This was beacause of a review which will see government ships servicing five routes on a fortnightly basis. He said the shortage of ships servicing the uneconomical routes, has made Government put in place tax incentives to attract and lure shipping operators to also operate on these routes

 MSAF hosted a public information session in the North for stakeholders and the public to be aware of the new requirements of the maritime legislation.

 The Queens Warf in Lautoka installed its automation system and Lautoka Ports Terminal manager Sanath Kumara said the port has done well in terms of productivity.

 Ferry MV Lomaviti Princess I is back in service after undergoing repair and refurbishment works overseas.



 Operators of the MV Uluinabu-kelevu signed a two-year contract with Government to serve the eastern side (Baba Ceva) of Kadavu under the Government Franchise scheme.

 Chartered vessel MV Sea Rakino left for the Lau Group for the dissemination of milk to rural schools in the maritime region as part of Government’s free milk initiative for Year One students.

 A total of 79,500 metric tonnes of bauxite were shipped off to China onboard the vessel MV Pan Energen.

 Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea said shipping service to Rabi under franchise service has been approved.

 The Ra Provincial Council discussed the possibility of reopening the Ellington jetty in Rakiraki.



 Closure of Savusavu jetty so it could undergo repair works.

 All Barging & Marine (Fiji) Limited acquired 2 additional barges. They are Kusima and Kaiwai and were bought from Sea-Tow Fiji Limited, a New Zealand based company

 Trade Pacific Shipping Agency Limited announced that it will provide a monthly Suva-Rotuma-Tuvalu service through their vessels MV Manufolau and MV Nivaga II.

Company general manager Sam Narayan said the vessel would first depart Suva for Rotuma, transporting passengers and cargoes before heading to Tuvalu.

 Tonga’s first pilot boat was built in Fiji. The boat was designed specifically for the island. It was designed and built by Navua-based Fijian owned company Bluewater Craft (Fiji



 Government vessel MV Vunilagi starts its first franchise trip to Beqa and Vatulele.

 18 nursing students had the opportunity to learn from very experienced medical staff when they boarded the US Naval Hospital Ship USNS Mercy.



 After 25 years there was review and the Commerce Commission announced the new local shipping rates.

 The Consumer Council of Fiji is concerned that despite the Commerce Commission’s new regulation on shipping fares, some of the busiest routes are not immune from fare increases.

The council has received a complaint from a concerned consumer that the fare on one of the routes that has a high volume of passengers has not dropped.

 The Royal Australian Naval vessel, HMAS Leeuwin, conducted its first seabed mapping operations in the vicinity of Rotuma.  This is part of the naval vessel’s regional engagement as it undertakes activities with the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

 The construction of an international seaport in Vanua Levu has been put on hold. This was after authorities discovered that the intended site had been leased to a communication company.

 The Marine Industrial and Structural Engineering Limited (MISEL) had recorded an increase in services at its slipway in the past six months. The bulk of vessels being serviced at the Walu Bay-based slipway are fishing vessels.

 Inter-island vessel MV Uluinabukelevu ran aground on a reef in Lau.



 Goundar Shipping Limited announced that it will add a new vessel to its service fleet. Company director and owner George Goundar was in Canada to finalise the acquisition issues.

 Bouwaqa Shipping Limited started servicing the Yasawa-i-rara. The company is managed by the yavusa Bouwaqa of Teci village in Yasawa.

 After 20 years, dredging operations at Government Shipping Services (GSS) waterways has started. This is alongside the Government Shipping Services jetty in Walu Bay.

 Prime Minister Voreqe Bainim-arama officially commissioned Government Shipping Services new vessel MV Cagivou.

TheMV Cagivou arrived safely in Suva after a 28-day voyage from Miri, Malaysia.



 The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) highlighted major works to ensure the reliable and safe continued use of Nabouwalu, Natovi, Vunisea and Savusavu jetties. These jetties are frequently used by inter-island ferries

 Government vessel MV Rogovoka II is used to service the franchise routes. This was because the vessel was economically viable, bigger space for cargo and passengers comfort

 Government Shipping Services Motor Landing Craft (MLC) Siga Vou left for Tuvalu. The three-week trip is on a request made by the Tuvaluan Government.

MV Luminous Ace, specialised in transporting automobiles made its first port call to the Port of Suva. The roll-on roll-off and load-on load-off uniquely-designed car carrier is represented by local shipping agent, Carpenters Shipping Limited. Built in 1994 and owned by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance in Japan, the vessel sails under the Panama flag.

 The Yasawa Legend II began its operations in the Yasawa group.  The vessel is owned by Peter McGhan, of McGhan Investments and is able to carry 60 passengers.

 Fiji is represented at the Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance (PMTA) 40th annual conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

The theme of the conference is: “To improve Ports Productivity and Market Challenges”.

 World Maritime Day (WMD) was officially observed. The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Maritime education and training”.

 The Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Labasa Mill confirmed making three shipments of sugar and a shipment of molasses. FSC executive chairman Abdul Khan said that 32,500 tonnes of sugar were made in the third shipment.

 The Port of Suva handles majority of the country’s total export and import cargo.

This was highlighted in the Fiji Ports Country Report that was presented by Fiji Ports Corporation Limited chief executive officer Vajira Piyasena and Fiji Ports Terminal chief executive officer Hasthika Dela during the 40th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance (PMTA) conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.



 Seaview Shipping Services Limited’s managing director Durga Prasad announced his retirement. Mr Prasad has been in the inter-island shipping business for over 20 years.

 Victoria Marine Limited is now the owner of the inter-island vessel MV Brianna (formerly known as MV Lady Sandy II).

 Captain Anura Herath is the new chief executive officer and director in charge of the Fiji Maritime Academy (FMA). He replaces Captain Suren Gurusinghe.

 Local passenger cargo inter-island ferry operator, George Goundar, says he is having trouble in getting his new vessel to Fiji. Because  surveyors from MSAF had failed to travel to Canada to inspect the vessel.

 Plans to purchase a new vessel by Bligh Water Shipping Limited is now put on hold pending on the review of the shipping registration law.

 Fiji was among Pacific Island countries attending the first South Pacific Cruise Forum to be ever organised in the region.

 The Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council Fiji elected their new board of directors during its annual general meeting at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay.

MV Princess Civa, the new inter-island vessel belonging to Tokalau Shipping Company Limited, announced its first trip to Lau.

 Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had clarified the recent increases to ports tariffs.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the increase would have little or no impact on the price of goods.

He was responding to claims made by the Fiji Ship Owners Association (FSOA), which Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says, had misrepresented the impact of the tariff increases and failed to acknowledge Government’s efforts to involve FSOA in the decision making process.



 Neptune Pacific Line has rejected claims made by the Nauru government over unfair freight costs. Neptune Pacific Line managing director Rolf Rasmussen told Sun Shipping that as a Central Pacific Shipping Commission (CPSC) state, Nauru (along with Tuvalu, Tarawa and Majuro) are well aware that prior to qualifying for and being granted an Entry Assurance Certificate (EAC).

 The Fiji Ports Terminal Limited (FPTL) has placed an order for 6 spreader bars with Tec Container Asia Pacific.

 Superyacht Adastra was in Fiji. The $4m Ocean Explorer Trimaran was the centre of attraction at Port Denarau

 PM Voreqe Bainimarama opened the new $2.6 million jetty at Yasawa-i-rara.

The jetty is able to accommodate vessels with a draft of up to five metres.

This feature is an added bonus to the islanders who can now expect to receive port calls from cruise ships– boosting economic activity on the island

 MSAF technical team had the opportunity to undertake a specialised training on the survey and inspection of tourist submarines in Laucala Island.

The MV Uluinabukelevu starts it services

 Fiji is among the Pacific Island nations that are going to benefit from the recent move made by Swire Bulk in opening a desk in Melbourne, Australia

 Ferry MV Suilven sinks in the Suva Harbour



 Exporting of sugar from Fiji to Europe is one of the main commitments of Swire Bulk. Swire general manager Andrew Kidd said they would be out to grow dry cargo presence in the Pacific islands as well.

 Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) has put in place strict measures to put a stop to the deliberate abandonment of vessels within the Suva Habour.

 Goundar Shipping Limited’s new ferry, the MV Lomaiviti Princess III is finally on its way to Fiji.

 Matson South Pacific continues to build its presence in Fiji by forging a new partnership with one of Fiji’s most respected and dynamic freight forwarding and logistics providers, Williams and Gosling Limited. Matson Pacific Shipping director government and community relations Michael Jones said the timely delivery of shipping services makes a world of difference in the industry.

 Swire Shipping is going to become the only multipurpose liner operator to connect mainland China to the South Pacific.

This is when Swire Shipping will be enhancing its North Asia to Pacific service from January, next year.




Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.