Western gets US$2.3m vessel

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday 04th September 2012

VILLAGES affected by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd’s Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) in Western are proud owners of a brand-new US$2.3 million vessel, mv Fly Explorer, which was delivered to Kiunga along the banks of the Fly River on Sunday morning.
The state-of-the-art vessel, which will be used mainly for research purposes along the Fly River by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, is owned by the eight CMCA groups, namely Middle Fly, Dudi, Kiwaba, Manawete, Suki Fly Gogo, Nupmo, Waitri and Tunwe.
Design, customs and delivery was made possible by the Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF).
Immediately after the dedication prayer and welcome speeches by Western Governor Ati Wobiro and OTDF chairman, OTML managing director and chief executive Nigel Parker, mv Fly Explorer and its sister ship mv Fly Hope took guests on a cruise and lunch along the Fly River.
OTDF chief executive Ian Middleton, told The National that this was the beginning of better things to come for Western as it started making use of its natural “super highway”.
“It (Fly Explorer) will be used by the (OTML) environment department for riverine sampling,” he said.
“That’s the primary purpose but we’ll also do community relations patrols twice a year.”
Mv Fly Explorer features cabins for 12, a purpose-built laboratory, hydrographic winch for sediment sampling, outboard motor and fishing workshop, and office facilities at the top deck.
It was built to order at Saraway Slipways MRI, Malaysia, and was sailed to PNG by an all-PNG crew led by Capt Pokai Aisuk from the Siassi islands of Morobe.
This is the second such vessel ordered by the OTDF, the first being mv Fly Hope, a purpose-built 150-person passenger vessel delivered last April to enable accessibility to services never before experienced by the CMCA communities.
A third vessel, mv Fly Warrior, a 65m bulk cargo/fuel carrier, is expected to be delivered to the people of Western this November.