TOFOL, Kosrae (Marianas Variety/PINA, Dec. 31) - Semo-Micronesia, the lone shipyard of the Federated States of Micronesia, has begun a major project overhauling a fleet of fishing boats.

The eight-month agreement, with Micronesian Longline Fishing Corporation, calls for the repair of 10 fishing vessels.

Welders, machinists, engineers, carpenters, and fiberglass workers of Semo- Micronesia are due to continue with work on the boats after the holidays.

Semo-Micronesia Inc. is a joint venture established by the Kosrae government and Semo Co. Ltd. from Korea. Its flagship businesses are shipbuilding and repair, construction, fisheries, and tourism.

The shipyard started its operations in 1998 with the propeller repair and overhaul of the national police patrol vessel Independence.

Over the ensuing years it has repaired and serviced many other ships of Micronesia, both government vessels and privately owned craft.

Robert Weilbacher, vice president of operations, said that many of the government owned ships in the Federated States of Micronesia are part of an ageing fleet.

Earlier, Semo-Micronesia President In-Ho Jung had told Pacific Magazine the Kosrae shipyard can do the repairs for about half what it would cost in Japan.

This is largely because of lower labor and overhead costs, he said.

January 1, 2003

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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