Caretaker Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities Don Ken, has signed a contract agreement worth USD 1.6 million, or approximately Vt180 million with New Zealand company, Portstar Forklifts Ltd., towards supply of container handling equipment (CHE) at Ifira Wharf.
The signing was conducted this morning at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) and witnessed by the General Manager of Ifira Ports Development Services (IPDS) Russell Mitchell, who was present to receive the contract document on behalf of Portstar Forklift.
Under the contract, Portstar Forklifts will be providing two 45-tonnes full reach stackers and two 10-tonnes empty reach stackers, thanks to a soft loan from JICA’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
Following the signing the contractor will then proceed to arrange for shipment of equipment to Port Vila upon receipt of JICA concurrence.
Currently, Ifira Wharf and Stevedoring only have one forklift that is over-worked, and mostly stacks containers horizontally, but not vertically. This does not make the best use of the limited space at both Lapetasi and the main wharf.
However, container handling at the country’s main port is bound to be greatly improved with the arrival of the new equipment in May.
With construction in progress at the new Port Vila Lapetasi multi-purpose wharf, container management arrangements will have to be handled in a manner that can accommodate the construction works without affecting works onsite.
The government anticipates that container handling will be much more efficient and effective to ensure maximization of available spaces. With the new reach stackers, IPDS should be able to stack more containers - 6 high.
Portstar Forklifts successfully won the tender to supply the container handling equipment after going through government approved tendering process.