Shipping firm without port

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MOROBE Coast Shipping Services Ltd was given 30 days to vacate the Namasu Wharf after the National Fisheries Authority purchased the facility from the National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund) Ltd.
MCSSL confirmed receiving the notice from NFA on Feb 27 and has until Monday to vacate the wharf, which is expected to affect the mobility of people from the five districts which are partners in the shipping venture.
MCSSL manager Namon Mawason said the notice to vacate was stipulated under the sale agreement between Nasfund and NFA.
“NFA wants MCSSL to get out of Namasu and we got seven days remaining but where will we go?” he said.
“It would be illogical to move all these containers, cargo and ships over to the Voco Point beachfront and conduct businesses at Hilmar Wong Park.
“We are still negotiating with NFA chief executive officer John Kasu and Minister for Fisheries Mao Zeming, including our national MPs, and I hope will come to some mutual understanding from our good leaders.”
He said the Government still owed MCSSL K2 million in outstanding payments.
Meanwhile, Kabwum district administrator Barts Botike, who is a director of MCSSL said he was concerned about the effect of the closure on the people.
Botike said the Namasu Wharf was the only landing point that served thousands of people from five coastal districts of Tewae-Siassi, Kabwum, Finschhafen, Nawaeb and Huon Gulf.
“Most of these districts are yet to be linked by road access and we heavily rely on Namasu wharf that plays a pivotal role in developmental activities to transport building and road infrastructural equipments, schools and health materials including coffee and cocoa bags to Lae markets,” he said.
“If NFA purchased the wharf, then why not it lease to MCSSL as there is no options for us to get elsewhere and I appeal to Morobe provincial government and 10 MP’s to come out and save the only means of transport for the coastal people.”
Botike said air freight from Kabwum to Lae cost K5.50 per kilo.
Governor General Bob Dadae last month said the shipping business was an expensive exercise and required partnerships from five MPs.
The former Kabwum MP also appealed to NFA to pay off the Nasfund debt and give the wharf back to MCSSL.

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