According to Court documents filed on November 21, the plan to recommission the vessel is part of a creditors’ compromise approved by Judge Hugh Williams.
Pacific Schooners Ltd director Garth Broadhead confirmed by conference call to the court that he expects the vessel to resume operations in January 2018, subject to sourcing a crew, but no later than the end of March 2018.
The company is said to owe several creditors and shareholders more than $2.4 million, and it plans to make repayments through a forecast 10-12 voyages a year.
Broadhead said the company should generate sufficient profit by the end of 2018, or early 2019.
Payment within one month of the approved scheme will see funds given to immediate priority creditors including: crew and staff, a $10,000 partial settlement to fuel supplier TOA Petroleum, owed more than $55,000 and a $4,000 partial payment to Ports Authority, owed more than $36,000.
Once operations resume, payments will also be made to TOA Gas, Raromart and Prime Foods amongst many other prioritised creditors, including BCI bank and CI Cruise (ANZ), both owed around $200,000.
With the arrival of the 2017/18 cyclone season, Pacific Schooners Ltd were earlier under pressure to prove the vessel could be removed from the harbour under its own propulsion.
It successfully left the harbour two days before an October 10 deadline under its own propulsion but not without incident, having a minor collision with the Lady Moana, also moored at Avatiu wharf.
If the vessel was unable to be moved Ports Authority were next going to look at sinking the ship.
In December 2016 Broadhead said the company hoped to make around eight trips to the outer islands in 2017, but these never eventuated.
The vessel last sailed to the northern group in June 2016.
The progress of the recent compromise agreement will be monitored by the court.