The official company name is Pelena Express Limited. The company was registered in Solomon Islands in April 2006. Pelena Express is owned by Solomon Islanders committed to living in the rural areas. Pelena Express has a licence from the Western Province Assembly to operate a passenger transport service. Initially, the Pelena Express vessel will only be operating in the Western Province.
At present there is only one vessel in the Pelena Express fleet. However, it is planned to increase this number to develop an interconnected rural transportation network across the country. Access to funds is the limiting factor in the expansion of Pelena Express. Pelena Express plans to be more than a ferry service. We plan that the vessel will be a “multi-function water transport vessel” to enable sustainable development in rural Solomon islands.
The Pelena Express business is totally privately funded by the owners taking out a private loan. No government or aid funding has contributed to this essential service. Unfortunately, none of the Solomon Islands financial institutions would lend money to the project. Fortunately, a private lender was found in Australia. This is a commercial arrangement where the loan must be repaid with interest.