Major Wharf Upgrade Starts In Tonga Capital

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

$24.3 million project funded by Japan

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, March 23, 2016) – A large stretch of the Nuku'alofa waterfront has been fenced off along Vuna Road, for the start of a multi-million pa’anga major upgrade and extension of Nuku'alofa's Domestic Wharf funded by the Government of Japan.

The site work is to start next month for the project expected to be completed by 2018.

TOA Corporation, the Japanese construction group, which won the tender to carry out the work, have arrived in Tonga and have fenced off the area of the scenic water front.

Funded with an estimated $55.5 million pa’anga [US$24.3 million] through Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA), this project will extend the domestic wharf and build a terminal building to house passengers and cargo handling.

Mosese Lavemai, General Manager of Ports Authority Tonga said the project is known as the "Upgrading of Wharf for Domestic Transport in Tonga". He said the contractor's shipment of equipment is expected to arrive in Nuku'alofa in April.

When the actual site work begins it will include the dredging of the reef area which will take some time. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned to be held before the end of this month, he said.

The contract runs from December 21, 2015 when the tender contract was awarded to TOA Corporation to end on January 31, 2018, said Mosese.

The Government of Tonga will oversee the construction through the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Marine Department and Ports Authority.

Prime Minister Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Japanese Ambassador HE Mr Yukio Numata had initially signed and exchanged notes on this project in June last year.

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