22 Sep 2006

There's continuing strong opposition to plans for a floating dry dock in Majuro

1:38 pm on 22 September 2006

Marshall Islands residents have spoken out against an 18 million US dollar Taiwan backed floating dry-dock proposed for a heavily urbanized area of Majuro Atoll, the capital of the Marshalls.

Locals gave the thumbs down to the proposed new location for the dry-dock during an Environmental Protection Authority public hearing.

That's despite the job opportunities on offer, and in a country facing a 34 percent unemployment rate.

Evelyn Konou, principal of a local public elementary school that is adjacent to the site where Ching Fu Shipyard wants to locate the dry-dock, says locals do not want the project.

Ching Fu wants the floating dry-dock in Majuro to service the large fishing industry in the region.

But Ching Fu's preferred location, adjacent to a hotel and many local residences, was rejected by the EPA in June 2005.

Ching Fu last month revived the plan, seeking to put it in another part of the downtown area of Majuro, which is within a few hundred metre of a school and numerous homes.