By Alfred Sasako
JAPAN’s Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) Shipping Line, one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in the world and Carpenters are discussing increased cooperation with Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA).
The move could see Honiara become a hub for future transhipment of vehicles to other ports in the Pacific.
NYK’s senior representative Yasutada Kobayashi-san and Carpenters General Manager PNG-Solomon Islands, Perba Sivalingam visited SIPA last week exploring possibilities, Chief Executive Officer, Eranda Kotelawala, told Island Sun yesterday.
The visit enhances SIPA’s own plans to turn Honiara Port into a vehicle transhipment point to the rest of the Pacific.
“SIPA is planning transhipment of vehicles via the Port of Honiara and transform it into a regional transhipment hub in future,” Mr Kotelawala said.
He said last week’s discussion with NYK and Carpenters focussed on the way forward to improve volume and increased calls to Solomon Islands down the line.
NYK is one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in the world, boasting of some 800 ships.
It is a member of the Mitsubishi keiretsu and is headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The company has a fleet of about 800 ships, which include, containerships, tankers, bulk and woodchip carriers, Ro-Ro car carriers, reefer vessels, Liquidified Natural Gas (LNG) and cruise ships.
“Mr Kabayashi-san was here in Honiara with the new agent in Solomon Islands, Carpenters Shipping to explore possibilities of further cooperation with SIPA for increased volume through the Port of Honiara and Noro,” Mr Kotelawala said.
“This is revenue and employment for Solomon Islands. We’ve just got to prepare ourselves to take these challenges head-on,” he said.
Mr Kotelawala last week announced that Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) had embarked on a multi-million-dollar infrastructure development plan, designed to lay the foundation for economic growth at the nation’s seaports over the next 50 years.
Part of the plan, which will see the expansion of Noro wharf in Western Province, involves a tripartite partnership arrangement with MAERSK, the world’s largest shipping line, and Tri-Marine.
The parties are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Honiara tomorrow (Wednesday). A site visit to Noro follows on Thursday, October 19.