A local vessel owner has called on the Government to quickly build a maintenance slipway in Vanuatu to support the shipping industry.
The owner of the Tauraken ship which is a passenger and freight ship, Peter Pata, says Vanuatu is now 40 years old but still has no large ship repair facilities.
He says the Vanuatu Government must build a slipway in Vanuatu for shipping vessels to go to for repair.
“We are spending around VT10 million for our vessels to go overseas for repair,” Mr Pata said.
He says all shipping vessel owners whose vessels have been operating for two to three years have been asked by the Office of the Maritime Regulator to get repairs done that would require a slipway.
“I asked the Government to consider our call to build a slipway here in Vanuatu to help reduce the costs of fixing our ships, as having vessels repaired overseas is too expensive for us,” he said.
Mr Pata says many times ship owners are being criticized by the public for their services but the Government has not come forward with concrete advice or assistance.
He says, internationally ships carry 90 per cent of the world’s trade items and “if we have a slipway in Vanuatu, it will really help us.”
The Office of the Maritime Regulator has said the office has been looking for a space for the Government to pay, to build a slipway.
There has been a private slipway on the island of Santo in Vanuatu but it was too costly for ship owners to use and has shut down its operation.
Vanuatu’s shipping industry has grown dramatically in the last two years.