SUNBIZ

Goundar Invests More Than $4m New Ships for Lau

Goundar Shipping managing director George Goundar confirmed he has purchased two more passenger vessels worth more than $2 million. He is hoping to have them in Fiji by July 2021.
16 Dec 2020 09:02
Goundar Invests More Than $4m New Ships for Lau
Charles Goundar Managing Director of Goundar Shipping

Goundar Shipping managing director George Goundar confirmed he has purchased two more passenger vessels worth more than $2 million. He is hoping to have them in Fiji by July 2021. These two new additions he plans to have them service the Lau Groups.

The 50 metre vessels are coming from Japan and are said to travel at more than 15 knots to cut down on travelling time.

Mr Goundar added he hopes to make it more accessible for locals from Lau.

“If we make it easy to travel to Lau it will help empower these islands economically.”

“There will be more investments on infrastructure and will hopefully allow locals to move back to the villages rather than crowding up in these concrete jungles on the mainland.”

Meanwhile, Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission is currently undertaking a market review on the status of domestic shipping route given new shipping operators in the market.

The routes are mainly Natovi, Nabouwalu and Savusavu.

Mr Goundar confirmed that they were the local shipping operator undertaking the review.

At the moment he has seven vessels in full operation.

However, as Fiji prepares for bad weather as reported to be expecting a Category Five Tropical Cyclone, this forces GSL to stop all services.

“All trips will cease on Thursday night (December 17), Thursday morning is the sail from Natovi travelling directly to Savusavu.

“We have to be safe rather than sorry.”

Though they were heavily affected by COVID-19 he has managed to get his employees back on their normal pay rate.

With more than 250 employees he said he is still short 100 more.

Mr Goundar said he has had talks with the Fiji Maritime Academy on plans to produce more qualified seafarers. He plans to offer his knowledge by also being a lecturer.

“I can’t keep throwing stones at the glass, it will break. Or as they say if you can’t beat them join them.

“This way they also have access to the vessels rather than just theory. It will hopefully help with the shortage of qualified seafarers.

“It is time I gave back to the school that has taught me so much.”

 

Feedback: susana.tuilau@fijisun.com.fj


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