7 Jul 2005

Marshalls government still wants Taiwanese dry-dock

4:15 pm on 7 July 2005

The Marshall Islands Minister of Resources and Development, John Silk, says the government remains hopeful that a suitable location can be found for a Taiwan funded floating dry dock.

Last week, the Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Authority ruled out the planned downtown Majuro location for the dock.

Mr Silk says the government is hopeful that within the next couple of weeks it can help the company, Ching Fu, find a suitable location.

His comments follow an ultimatum this week from the company head, Steve Chen, that the government has four weeks to to resolve the impasse, or the company will begin discussions with other countries.

He says the governments of Fiji and Kiribati have expressed an interest in hosting the dock project, while the Federated States of Micronesia is also a possibility.

But Mr Silk said the Marshall Islands is keen to bring the dock to Majuro because he believes that the economic potential is huge.