PM Rabuka: Ageing ships becoming increasingly expensive to maintain

The derelict ships at Lami Bay. Picture: FILE

Ageing ships in the government fleet are becoming increasingly expensive for the state to maintain.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka highlighted the issue while delivering his ministerial speech in Parliament.

“Domestic shipping services are the lifeline for our citizens in outer islands to participate in the life of our nation and our economy,” he said.

“With over 300 islands and limited resources, ageing ships in our government fleets are becoming increasingly expensive to government and by extension to taxpayers to service those areas.

“We, thus, intend to invest in new greener ships powered by renewable energy to ensure greater financial and environmental sustainability.”

Earlier this month, the United States, the Pacific Blue Shipping Partnership and Fiji announced a plan to engage in technical co-operation to help facilitate the establishment of a green shipping corridor which included Fiji.

In a joint statement, they said the new initiative would be a key factor in accelerating the early adoption of zero-emission fuels and technologies.

Green shipping corridors are specific maritime routes, decarbonised from end to end, including both land-side infrastructure and vessels.

The routes use zero-emission fuel or energy and the infrastructures and vessels, would demonstrate cleaner, more environmentally friendly shipping for such routes.

Fiji is expected to join the Green Shipping Challenge, an initiative that catalyses actions from countries and non-state actors to advance the transition to a 1.5-aligned shipping sector.

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