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Current Projects

Project Title: Cerulean Project - A Swire Shipping/USP Partnership 


During the Pacific Islands Transport Forum & Expo, MCST initiated a partnership with Swire Shipping/China Navigation Co. to undertake Phase 1 of the Cerulean Project over the course of 2019.

This phase includes the following objectives during the first year:

1) Consider available routes encompassing USP member nations between the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Fiji to present a viable business case for the operation of a small, low-carbon freighter along selected priority routes;

2) Review low-carbon freighter vessel designs, based both upon prototype design concepts and well-seasoned vessels which have operated around the Pacific successfully over the years, and,

3) Provide thoroughly considered design specifications for a new class of vessel to meet Swire's needs of a small low-carbon cargo freighter to build and commission during Phase 2 and operate & monitor route performance over a 2-year period during Phase 3. 

Project Cerulean aims to prove there are means of providing viable sea transport options to deliver more equitable, efficient, and comprehensive transport services to connect the remote populations widely distributed across the Oceania. The confluence of well-tested Pacific maritime traditions and technology with willing partners in applied research intends to yield both a vessel and a route designed to further serve the Pacific Island Countries in the coming years and merit further replication for sustainable sea transport operations.


October 16th, 2019 - The Design Review Team of the Cerulean Project has been working with MCST to define the three main elements of the business case for the Cerulean project; 1) Potential routes, 2) scope of transport work, and 3) the Cerulean vessel design. 

We are proud to have our Design Review Team comprised of expertise from Prof. Michael Vahs and his colleagues at Hochschule Emden/Leer, Capt. John Rounds of the Kiribati National Shipping Line, and Island Ventures, which has successfully operated the SV Kwai through the Pacific for more than a decade.

With the input from the Team, MCST has prepared and delivered a Cargo & Route Assessment Report to Swire to highlight the best options to ensure successful, commercially viable operations of the forthcoming low-carbon vessel. 

The project has been detailed over the past few months at the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA) Transport Symposium in Honiara, Solomon Islands, the Annual Conference of the International Geography Union Commission on Local and Regional Development held on-campus at USP in Suva, Fiji, and the 4th Energy & Transport Ministers' Meeting held in Apia, Samoa.  

The Design Review Team, having selected preferential routes and likely transport work, is now moving into selection of vessel design specifications to meet the efficiency targets expected of a newly built sailing vessel.

Links & Resources

Please find additional coverage on the announcement of the project linked below: