MV Southern Phoenix cleared from city harbour

The sunken MV Southern Phoenix at Suva harbour yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The sunken MV Southern Phoenix at the Suva harbour. Picture: FT FILE/ELIKI NUKUTABU

AFTER the successful removal of the MV Southern Phoenix from Kings Wharf in Suva, Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd is hoping that derelict vessel owners will utilise this opportunity to have their vessels removed from the area within the Suva port boundary.

In a statement, FPCL chief executive officer Vajira Piyasena confirmed it took FPCL 18 months to finalise procedures to see the successful removal of the wreck by Papua New Guinea salvage company Pacific Towing Company Ltd (PACTOW) two years later.

He said about $1m was spent to mobilise the salvaging equipment by PACTOW to Fiji at the vessel owner’s cost.

Mr Piyasena said the removal of the vessel would allow other ships to navigate freely at the south end of Kings Wharf.

The container vessel sank on May 6, 2017.

“PACTOW won the tender process from three shortlisted overseas companies and began the wreck removal operation in November 2018.”

He thanked the owner of the sunken vessel, Cruz Holdings Ltd, for their commitment since being issued the removal order on May 8, 2017 under the Seaport Management Regulations Act.

Mr Piyasena added that under the Act, removal of derelict vessels within the port boundary was the responsibility of the owner.

Mr Piyasena said the removal of the sunken vessel was done under the supervision of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji.

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