Tabubil, PNG: The last of three ships procured by Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) on behalf of the Fly River communities, mv Fly Warrior, was launched from the Sarawak Slipways yard in Malaysia on September 22.
|mv Fly Warrior before it was launched from the Saraway Slipways in Malaysia.|
The 65m bulk cargo/fuel carrier was blessed and then named before being launched by Toti Sapera, one of the women leaders from the South Fly region in Western Province, and Pakki Parker, wife of OTDF chairman Nigel Parker.
Present from PNG to witness the launching were Parker, OTDF CEO Ian Middleton, OTDF trust administrator Renagi Koiro, OTDF North Fly regional coordinator Belden Dasa and the trust chairmen of Tutute, Nupmo, Waitri, Middle Fly, Suki Fly Gogo, Manawete, Kiwai and Dudi.
|Representatives from OTML and OTDF together with the chairmen from the Trust regions and Sarawak Slipways management and staff with the mv Fly Warrior in the background.|
Parker, who is also the managing director and CEO of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML), said apart from the other two vessels OTDF had purchased for the benefit of its Fly River communities, the mv Fly Warrior was another a significant step forward into making sure the communities’ investment funds were put to good use.
“It is a real pleasure to stand here today to witness this launching knowing that investment funds belonging to the people are utilised in such investments so that your communities will receive greater value in return for their funds,” he said.
“Our vision is to see the lives of our community river partners improve so that they can be self-sustainable.”
Adding to Parker’s comments, Middleton said that mv Fly Warrior including its two sister ships mv Fly Hope and mv Fly Explorer would generate long-term development benefits for the 156 villages that currently benefited from the Ok Tedi Community Mine Continuation Agreement (CMCA).
“The long term benefits that will come from these key investments will not happen overnight, but will gradually filter into the communities through development projects and programmes,” he said.
“OTDF now looks forward to facilitating further development into these communities, be it agriculture, health, education or transport infrastructure.”
mv Fly Warrior will be on dry hire to OTML and will be generating a minimum 8% return per annum on a capital investment of US$8 million.
The vessel was designed by Shiptech in Singapore then constructed by Sarawak Slipways and will be operated by V Ships, the world’s largest shipping fleet manager.
mv Fly Warrior will primarily service OTML’s operational requirements (carrying up to 72 containers and or 1.2 million litres of fuel) out of Port Moresby but has the capacity to call Australia when required.
mv Fly Warrior is expected to arrive in Western province and be welcomed up the Fly River in December.