Two Japanese shipyards have been awarded contracts to build vessels for the Marshall Islands as part of the Japanese government's largest-ever aid project for the nation.
The Marshall Islands Secretary of Transportation and Communications Phil Philippo says the contracts for the two vessels are worth 16 million US dollars.
The bids for the contracts on the two vessels were opened in Tokyo earlier this month by government officials.
The aid funding will support the construction of a cargo-passenger vessel and a landing craft for inter-atoll shipping service in the Marshalls.
Currently, the Marshall Islands Shipping Corporation, a government-established agency, has only three passenger and cargo vessels and struggles to meet demand for cargo deliveries and passenger travel.