As the Asia Perdana, a rusted, overturned barge, continues to sit on Angaur’s southern coast, the Angaur State Government says that it is now looking to salvage companies to remove the vessel from its reef.
Angaur Governor Kennosuke Suzuky says that he has put out a request for proposal (RFP) to individual salvage companies to take the vessel for its scrap metal.
“I see the barge as a win-win for Angaur if we can actually sell it to any entity,” said Governor Suzuky.
The Asia Perdana has been sitting on Angaur’s beach for a year-and-a-half, without any form of containment to prevent it from moving.
The overturned vessel, which is believed to have originated from Indonesia and was carried to Angaur’s coast by a storm, has long been seen as a danger to the island’s reef as well as its harbor. The Governor says that a strong enough current could move the barge along the beach until it is blocking the entryway to the harbor.
While August 2020 saw a six-person US Army team brought in to Angaur to conduct removal assessments for the barge, followed by a 30-person team as part of the Defender Pacific 20 Exercise, the Governor says that he has not received any updates from the military regarding a removal plan. While at first Governor Suzuky was looking to the military to provide a solution, in order to “move through the channels” recommended by the National Government, he says that it’s been enough time without any fix that he can start entertaining private companies.
While several salvage companies have expressed interest in the vessel, the Governor said that the COVID situation has made it difficult for them to commit to the endeavor, with travel restrictions limiting the movement of people and equipment.
“With the logistics involved, with this pandemic, it is highly unlikely that it will be soon that we can get a real concrete investment,” he said.