The Vanuatu Interisland Shipping Support Project (VISSP) is a joint partnership between the Government of Vanuatu (GoV), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of New Zealand (GoNZ) through the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAID) administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The joint partnership framework for the VISSP will be implemented for a period of up 6 years, from 2012 to 2016.
The total value of projects to be implemented under the VISSP is estimated at USD 51.62 million. Both grant and loan financing agreements have been signed and executed as of August 2012 and are summarized as follows;
The VISSP will invest in three key areas:
- Civil works for rehabilitation of existing maritime assets and construction of new infrastructure;
- Establishment of a shipping support and coordinator scheme to support service provision to remote communities using an output based approach; and
- Technical assistance to reform sector governance and build maritime safety oversight capacity
The primary objective of this is to prepare detailed engineering designs, undertake tendering processes, and supervision and management of the construction of a new interisland shipping terminal in Port Vila and three new jetties in Lolowai, Loltong and Port Sandwich and the rehabilitation of Litzlitz, Lenakel and Simonsen Wharf.
All infrastructure will be designed and constructed to international standards, with special measures to remove barriers to access by vulnerable groups including women and the disabled and to ensure adaptation to the effects of climate change. The expected design life will be 50 years and will adopt low maintenance strategy in recognition of the risks of cyclones and earthquakes and the limited capacity for maintenance in outer islands
The shipping support and coordination will consist of two activities; a Shipping Support Scheme (SSS) and Shipping Coordinator Scheme (SCS). The SSS will provide subsidies for a fixed number of voyages at designated frequencies on otherwise commercially uneconomical routes based on a least-cost tender process. The expected outputs from this scheme will be linked to performance relating to the following:
- Vessel suitability;
- Authorized areas and routes;
- Call locations and frequency;
- Substantiation of calls and;
- Submission of voyage data
Vessels will be required to meet safety standards and to provide facilities to reduce barriers to use by women. The SCS will involve appointing people on each island with the responsibility of promoting and aggregating demand and communicating needs for voyages to private sector vessel operators.
Overall, this investment will improve the governance system within the maritime sector. The proposed activities will include the following;
- updating legislation and providing adequate delegation of responsibility and authority to ensure compliance with safety regulations;
- drafting of new regulations to implement the new legislation;
- institutional restructuring in Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) and its departments, and;
- training and capacity development for staff assigned to new roles
The main output from this will be improvement of institutional capacity for maritime safety compliance including vessel registry, inspection, survey, licensing of seafarers, and administration of ports and harbors.
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