Australia is set to give a new ship to Palau as part of its Pacific Maritime Security Program.
President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. divulged during a press conference on October 2 that the guardian class patrol boat Remeliik 2, which will replace its predecessor, the PSS Remeliik, will arrive in Palau in June next year.
President Remengesau said that Australian Ambassador to Palau George Fraser and Australian Maritime Surveillance Adviser to Palau Lieutenant Commander Clint Moore had presented the model of the ship to him during the country’s celebration of Independence Day.
Remeliik 2 is a guardian class patrol ship worth $20-million and measures 139-foot long which is longer than its predecessor by 30 feet. It also has a reverse osmosis feature, a capacity that enables the ship to turn saltwater into a fresh water that can be used in ship services. It is also said to be fuel efficient.
Marine law enforcers are also ensured to undergo trainings on how to operate the new ship prior to its arrival here.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old PSS Remeliik will be brought back to Australia in February 2020 where it will be scrapped and recycled. The president, however, said that the ship’s parts that have historical significance will be taken from it for preservation.
President Remengesau then expressed gratitude for Australia’s contribution to the country.
Australia’s Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement program acquired 21 vessels to replace the existing 22 Pacific Patrol Boats that it gifted to 12 Pacific Island Countries between 1987 and 1997 as part of its Pacific Maritime Security Program. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)