SHIPPING

Goundar Plans To Spend $24M On Vessels, $14M On High Speed Ferries

The third of the four vessels he is buying this year arrived over the weekend. He has set a budget of $10m to buy the four inter island roll on roll off vessels.
27 Jul 2019 14:38
Goundar Plans To Spend $24M On Vessels, $14M On High Speed Ferries
Goundar Shipping's Lomaiviti Princess IX crew members during the commissioning of the vessel at Port Mua-i-Walu 2 on July 20, 2019. Photos: Simione Haravanua

Goundar Shipping Limited Director George Goundar is looking at investing $14 million to purchase three high speed ferries to ease traffic congestion between the Suva-Nausori corridor.

The amount pumps up Mr Goundar’s spending on vessels this year to $24m.

The third of the four vessels he is buying this year arrived over the weekend. He has set a budget of $10m to buy the four inter island roll on roll off vessels.

Mr Goundar said the new ferries will travel at the speed of 35 knots and will be able to travel from Nausori to Suva within 20 minutes.

“We all have seen the heavy traffic that we have to endure in the mornings and afternoons in the Suva to Nausori corridor, having these high-speed ferries will ease the traffic and solve this ongoing problem,” Mr Goundar said

“I hope to sit with Government and relevant authorities to talk about this plan that I have in mind,” he said

“Just imagine catching a ferry from Nausori to Suva in only 20 minutes with a fare of only $3. We want to make lives easier for Fijians and we will do so to prove that we are here to serve all Fijians.

“I would love to have talks with them to have a proper jetty in Nausori where the old bridge is and also convert it into a parking lot where people can actually park their cars and take the ferry to Suva.”

He said: “We need to think outside the box and everyone needs to work together.

“I commend the hard work of my staff, they are very loyal and through them this company grows. We have been through a lot but my staff have been very loyal and that has been able to drive the company forward during our testing times.”

According to Goundar the last of the four vessels he is purchasing this year Lomaiviti Princess X is expected to arrive in the country before the year ends.

For the four new Lomaiviti Princess vessels this year Mr Goundar had set aside $10million for their purchase.

Meanwhile of Mr Goundar’s nine vessels, four are still docked of which one needs engine repairing and the other three yet to meet MSAF’s Marine Safety Standards

“After we have sorted our issue with MSAF we will then work on getting Lomaiviti Princess X over to Fiji.”

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