From MALUM NALU in Tabubil
Western province’s brand-new US$2.3 million vessel, mv Fly Explorer, was delivered to the people at Kiunga along the banks of the Fly River yesterday (Sunday) morning.
|mv Fly Explorer steaming up the Fly River yesterday on its way to Kiunga.-Pictures by MALUM NALU|
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 Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA) groups of 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 province Governor Ati Wobiro and OTDF chairman and OTML managing director and CEO, Nigel Parker, mv Fly Explorer and its sister ship mv Fly Hope took guests on a cruise and lunch along the Fly River.
|Sister ships mv Fly Explorer (right) and mv Fly Hope at the busy Kiunga port along the Fly River in Western province yesterday.|
An excited OTDF CEO, Ian Middleton, told The National along the Fly River that this was the beginning of beter things to come for Western province 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 has 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 Captain Pokai Aisuk from the Siassi islands of Morobe province.
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 province in November this year.