Leaving on the RMS St Helena today after a week on-Island are Matt Young and Kedell Worboys MBE, two of the Directors of St Helena Line (SHL), which is responsible – on behalf of St Helena Government – for entering into and managing a contract for St Helena with a shipping management company, currently Andrew Weir Shipping.
The focus of their visit was to engage with Councillors and other interested parties in understanding the role of St Helena Line and discussing options around the withdrawal of the RMS St Helena from its current service in 2016. There have been various discussions about how St Helena can source the most appropriate and affordable shipping service going forward.
In looking for the best solution for the Island, SHG has strengthened the position of the Working Group – consisting of SHG officials, representatives from the private sector through the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Association and Enterprise St Helena – set up specifically to look at St Helena’s future shipping needs and possible solutions. The Group is currently examining all options for St Helena, including whether a shipping service to Ascension Island will be viable.
An invitation for Expressions of Interest to provide a service to St Helena will be issued to the international shipping market by the end of May 2014, with a view to opening discussions and negotiations with potential service providers in the second half of 2014.
SHG Shipping Officer Dax Richards commented:
“A post-Airport shipping service to St Helena is a complex undertaking – but one that is so vital to St Helena that we must make sure we get it right. Having both Matt and Kedell on-Island over the past week has been extremely helpful and very timely – allowing them to assess and contribute to the intensifying efforts of the Working Group. It has also strengthened the continuing working relationship between SHL and the Group – key to getting the right level of service for the Island at the right price.”
Kedell Worboys added:
“I very much support the collaborative approach taken by the Working Group and fully endorse Dax’s sentiments. Myself, Matt and the other SHL Directors look forward to assisting the Group as we work towards a solution.”
Further updates on post-Airport shipping will be released in due course.
8 April 2014