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Uluinabukelevu ceases operation again

Just a month after resuming operation, MV Uluinabukelevu services will again be stopped for another four weeks following an engine failure. The Nabukelevu tikina (district) owned vessel was dry docked
14 Feb 2018 11:00
Uluinabukelevu ceases operation again
MV Uluinabukelevu vessel at Port Mua-i-Walu, Suva on February 12, 2018. Photo: Taraivini Seru

Just a month after resuming operation, MV Uluinabukelevu services will again be stopped for another four weeks following an engine failure.

The Nabukelevu tikina (district) owned vessel was dry docked for five months last year after one of its engines needed replacing.

The passenger vessel with a capacity of 130 passengers only sails to Nabukelevu.

“We had just resumed our services last month after five months of waiting,” administration officer Bulou Nailevu said.

“This time a part of the engine called crankshaft needs to be replaced,” she said.

“The new crankshaft will cost $16,000, weighing more than 30 kilograms. It will be boat freighted.

“Timeline would be a month and that would mean not only a big loss to the company but also to the people of Nabukelevu.

The people of Nabukelevu rely on the MV Uluinabukelevu for the transportation of their produce – yaqona, dalo and seaharvest to Viti Levu.

MV Uluinabukelevu was also making trips to the Lomaiviti group of islands.

Meanwhile Provincial Administrator Kadavu Peni Tora said he would need to contact the franchise services to confirm ways to assist Nabukelevu farmers in getting their produce and sea harvest to Suva.

“They usually come to Vunisea to board the Lomaiviti Princess or the franchise Liahona which also goes to Nabukelevu during their trips,” Mr Tora said.

Nabukelevu-i-ra is  43 kilometres from Vunisea. To hire a vehicle to transport produce to Vunisea costs $200 one way. Travelling time is about two hours.

“I will need to talk to the franchise service first and also the Nabukelevu people,” he said.

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