8 Feb 2010

American Samoa inter island ship should be repaired in 7 weeks

11:44 am on 8 February 2010

The American Samoa ship repair company, MYD Samoa, says repairs on the Government owned inter island vessel, MV Sili, should be completed within seven weeks.

The company has been in a dispute with the Government.

Last week the High Court ordered the Government to pay 200 thousand US dollars to allow the shipyard to finish the work, after it stopped repairs in January in protest over non payment.

But a later hearing lowered that amount to 100 thousand US dollars.

The government had argued MYD has failed to comply with the contract agreement.

The President of MYD Samoa, Bob Weihe, acknowledges the delays are hurting people in the outer islands.

"This is the only boat that's available from Tutuila to service the outer islands of Manu'a and Ofu. It's a real hardship for those people out there when they don't get their cargo and supplies and they can't have ocean transportation of passengers back and forth on a regular basis. We would like this job to move along as quickly as possible but we're unable to do that unless financing is in place and the payments are made in a timely manner."

Bob Weihe says the repair process has been delayed by three weeks but hopes to speed up the process and have it complete within six to seven weeks.