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Adds to $19 million warf project

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Feb. 9, 2011) - Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman yesterday received the 600 million- vatu [US$6.3 million] ‘world-class’ tug boat ‘Roimata II,’ from the Japanese Ambassador Yutaka Yoshizawa.

On conveying the gratitude of the people of Vanuatu to the Japanese Government, Prime Minister Kilman stressed the importance use of the vessel by the respective agencies to ensure Vanuatu meets its international and domestic responsibilities in terms of maritime affairs.

"Vanuatu relies heavily on international shipping to bring in goods and tourists. The revenue stream from imports allows the government to achieve a positive trade balance, he said. The entrance of cruise ships bringing tourists to our country also brings in substantial fees and cash flow through our economy. In this we are the envy of many other Pacific Island nations."

The Japanese Government granted 1.8 billion- vatu [US$18.9 million] for an overhaul of the main wharf facilities, a new Pilot boat and now the tug boat.

Built by the Japanese Kanagawa Dockyard Corporation Ltd, ‘Roimata II’ is 31 meters in length and spans a breadth of 9.2 meters, a gross tonnage of 260 tons and a maximum speed of 13.5 knots with 6 people on board.

The handing over of the tug boat was sealed by a kastom ceremony, with two pigs handed to the Chairman of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs and chairman of Ifira Council of Chiefs, Mantoi Kalsakau III for the chiefly name given to the boat as well as use of territorial waters and land.

Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities Serge Vohor and colleague government ministers, Opposition Leader Edward Natapei, Ports and Harbor officials, diplomats and other distinguished guests were given a run on the new ‘Roimata II’ beyond Iririki before being treated to a lavish lunch.

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