2 Nov 2010

Tonga's new ferry soon to begin service

10:52 am on 2 November 2010

Tonga's new ferry, the MV 'Otuanga'ofa, is expected to start its interisland service to Vava'u and Ha'apai this month.

Vaka'uta Pola Vi, the CEO of the Friendly Island Shipping Agency, said that the 'Otuanga'ofa should begin its commercial operation in November.

The new inter-island vessel provided by Japan has replaced the MV Olovaha, and was built by ISB Co Ltd.

"The Matangi Tonga Online reports the ferry project was financed under a Grant Aid from the Government of Japan, worth over 30 million pa'anga or close to $16 million US ."

The new 1,534-ton ferry can carry up to 400 passengers, and was commissioned last Thursday, at Queen Salote wharf in Nukualofa.