The Marine Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development is on the final stage of its plan to subsidize shipping services to uneconomical routes in the country.

In an interview with the National Express, the Director of Marine Department Elliott Cortez, revealed that the Ministry's Tender Board (MTB) has already recommended shipping operators to the Marine Department.

Mr. Cortez said that the MTB wanted the Marine Department to help them determine each of the routes on whether or not the routes will be economical or uneconomical under the proposed subsidy program.

Mr Cortez said that once these various questions and issues are sorted out then the program would start.

He said that the Marine Department would treat any vessel that did not submit a tender as reserves in the event that the Marine Department needed their service.

Each route defined as uneconomical would be provided two subsidized trips within a month.

The uneconomical routes are; Temotu Province, Shortland Islands, Choiseul Province, Rennel and Bellona Province, Weathercoast of Guadalcanal and other parts of Makira and Ulawa Province.

National Express