The Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) has announced a new shipping service for Makira Ulawa Province today.
A statement from the Ministry said the two-years contract has been awarded to Marau Shipping Services Limited.
MID Permanent Secretary Moses Virivolomo says the service will operate from Honiara through ports in Ulawa, Ugi, Kirakira onto Three Sister Islands and return the same route.
Mr Virivolomo adds the purpose of the scheme is to provide a regular shipping service to remote communities in the country.
He said under this subsidy scheme, the ship operator keeps the incomefrom cargo and passenger fares while the MID pays a subsidy to cover the difference between voyage income and operation costs.
Under the contract agreement, the operator can only charge passenger fares and cargo rates agreed by the Ministry.
The shipping service was jointly funded by the Solomon Islands Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).