FPCL: Expensive to remove derelict vessels

THE Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd has had to remove derelict vessels on a priority basis because of its complext situation, says FPCL chief executive officer Vajira Piyasena. He said recently they had to remove two derelict ships after one of the ships was found to be obstructing the operation of the Government Shipping Services at Walu Bay.

“FPCL has for a number of times informed the standing committees that we do manage the record of the number of derelict vessels and the number of vessels removed.

“Removing the derelict vessels is a complex operation … for example the recent removal of the vessel Tovuto. We had to remove it on a priority basis as it was obstructing the operation of the Government Shipping Services,” he said

“It was a major operation to refloat the vessel. We had to do underwater cuttings of the pile. During the operation we had to use airbags which cost up to $100,000, so a lot of difficulties there and a complex situation.”

The second vesseld they recently removed was Sea Love. Mr Piyasena said the removal of Sea Love cost $85,000 while for the Tovuto, it had cost more than $250,000.

“Removing these derelicts is an expensive operation and especially when there’s no capacity here to lift the vessels like lifting cranes. Luckily we had a large crane that was brought into the country and this enabled us to remove the two vessels,” Mr Piyasena said.

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