By PISAI GUMAR
Morobe Coast Shipping Services Ltd (MCSSL) is unable to make any profits due to high operational costs of fuel, crews and wharf rentals, operations manager Namon Mawason says.
He said yesterday that the company was unable to sustain itself and urgently needed cash subsidies from the five shareholding district development authorities of coastal Morobe – Tewai-Siassi, Kabwum, Finschhafen, Nawaeb and Huon Gulf – to get back on water.
Mawason was responding to Huon Gulf MP Ross Seymour wanting to know how much profit Morobe Coast Shipping Services had made over the last four years.
Seymour was also upset that the Huon Gulf DDA vessel, mv Morobe Rainforest II, had been lying idle at Voco Point since July after suffering mechanical problems when doing a run for MCSSL.
It will cost Huon Gulf DDA K250,000 to bring in spare parts from the United States and get the vessel running again.
Mawason said MCSSL was set up by MPs from Finschhafen, Tewae-Siassi, Kabwum, Huon Gulf and Nawaeb in the last Parliament.
“The former MPs agreed to contribute K1.125 million each from DSIP funds to MCSSL, however, only Kabwum and Finschhafen contributed in full,” he said.
“Huon Gulf, Tewae-Siassi and Nawaeb have contributed nothing.”
Mawason said Morobe government committed K2 million in 2015 MCSSL.
The Morobe government paid K500,000 in February to MCSSL to pay Nasfund for outstanding rentals for Namasu Wharf at Voco Point since 2016.
Regarding mv Morobe Rainforest II being docked at Namasu since July, Mawason said that it was never towed back, as claimed by Huon Gulf chief executive Aaron Ambang.
Mawason said the vessel return to Lae on its own steam using one engine after the starboard engine ceased at Wandokai on July 6.
“Upon checking, the gearbox was damaged due to lack of oil in its systems,” he said.
“A complete new gearbox is required that will cost K250,000 while a rebuild will cost K150,000. Currently, we have no funds to fix the vessel and reported the matter to vessel owner, Huon Gulf DDA and other stakeholders Kabwum and Finschhafen requesting financial assistance.
“However, due to current financial situation in the country and province, we may wait a bit longer to get some assistance to get the engine fixed.”
By PISAI GUMAR