Vanuatu Pacificand Vanuatu Pacific
Vanuatu shipyard raises brows over the Pacific Ocean
Its shipyard renovation case was built on the basis of the tourist industry of luxury liner vessels and the conversion of the harbour into a transport centre for freight containers. FleetMon Vessel Tracing said that only four cruisers didck in Luganville this year, even though Mr Ngwele said the number was seven.
He said the shipyard got two or three containerships a weeks, although it can take two at a stretch and containerships on board remain about a full days on board to unload freight. Vanuatu's administration has incurred considerable debts with China, although it has apparently not taken out major credits since a strong International Monetary Fund warnings in 2016.
During a band ceremonies, Liu Quan, the China embassador, is said to have given keys to the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai. Unclearly, the quay credit agreement with the Vanuatu authorities contains a so-called debt-equity switch that would mean that China could take over the facilities if Vanuatu were to default on its payment.
One Vanuatu finance officer, Letlet August, refused by e-mail to reply to any question or to submit the deed. Defense spokesman Malcolm Davis at the Strategic Policy Institute said it was "no coincidence" that the shipyard was constructed for large ships. "I suspect that there is a Trojan Equestrian Company here that will build a large complex sometime, which is very fashionable and very well outfitted.
"They are hoping that the debts of the Vanuatu administration are so high that they cannot repay them. People in China will say,'This plant has been ours for 99 years' and the next thing you have is a PLA Navy Luang III class[Destroyer] docked there. The Luganville Shipyard is the"...outstanding double-use of...all the work the Chinese are doing in the South Pacific," said Lowy Institute Pacific specialist Jonathan Pryke, with reference to a plant that could be converted from a civilian to a full-scale warship.
Lowy's fellow officer Euan Graham, an internationally renowned safety specialist, said such an institution fit "into the modus operandi elsewhere " and noted that China was also participating in the modernization of a neighbouring airfield, even though it was financed by the World Bank. There is" no apparent commercial reason" for China to establish a South Pacific defence force, he said, "and that reduces the chances of a tactical motive".
Uh-huh. But James Goldrick, a former marine commander and now an academician of the armed forces, said that an extended shipyard does not itself indicate malicious intentions because most navy vessels did not really need that much space. "One quay alone doesn't mean much unless you have the opportunity to do in-depth servicing, utilities, the capability to refuel," he said.
However, he added that the Vanuatu administration "must go to the market and find out where our trading trails are, where we can go".