SUNBIZ

Swire, USP Look at Ships For Island

The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the China Navigation Company Ltd (Swire Shipping) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on a project worth over $4
11 Nov 2018 11:00
Swire, USP Look at Ships For Island
From left Deputy Vice Chancellor,Research,Innovation Professor Derrick Armstrong and China Navigation General Manager Sustainable Development Simon Bennett during the 2018 Pacific Transport Forum on November 10,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the China Navigation Company Ltd (Swire Shipping) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on a project worth over $4 million titled “Pro­ject Cerulean”.

The project is aimed to develop a new class of small cargo freighter.

Once proven to be commercially viable to operate, can be scaled up in numbers to provide a cost-effective solution with numerous additional primary and secondary socio-economic benefits for cur­rently marginalised island com­munities

Speaking during the Pacific Transport Forum at the USP Ja­pan- Pacific ICT centre, China Navigation Company Ltd (Swire Shipping) general manager sustainable development, Simon Bennett said this is more of a com­munity service in the South Pacif­ic for islands who are not currently on the main line routes.

Mr Bennett added the idea to have freight with zero carbon emission which will take over two years to build.

“It is going to use the technology that has been used in the South Pa­cific for the thousands of years, so why reinvent the wheel,” he said.

“We will use the expertise from the USP to service the communi­ties and we will spend a year doing a desktop study to avoid reinvent­ing the wheel.

“We will want to service the peo­ple that will need to be serviced and have no current infrastruc­ture, no ports and jetties.

“With the initial route as a pilot scheme, we believe that this is massively scalable.

“This is something that does not cost money, it is a community ser­vice and once we have proven that for two years then we can expand this out with over two hundred markets that are available.”

USP Deputy Vice-chancellor Der­rick Armstrong said this collabo­ration with Swire Shipping was part of the university’s role to de­velop innovative solutions toward decarbonisation while working in collaboration with the private sec­tor.

“We have been having talks about how we can have a stronger collab­oration between the science sec­tor and the university sector and the private sector,” Mr Armstrong said.

“We share the common terms of values around the issues of sus­tainable transport and find solu­tions which are good for the envi­ronment and for the people in the Pacific.

“This project will provide us op­portunities to work through ways to have capacity, ability and the knowledge and we are pleased to be part of the project.”

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