Wharf Upgrade In Vanuatu’s Santo Island Completed

Chinese construction of Luganville port 

By Harrison Selmen

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 24, 2016) – When people in Luganville were welcoming the cruise ship Pacific Pearl in early morning of Friday last week, the construction works of Luganville International Wharf were also completed days prior to the arrival.

Funded by Chinese Government through Concessional Loan, the Project of Rehabilitation and Extension of Luganville Main Wharf started on July 28, 2015, was contracted by Shanghai Construction Group.

More than 50 ni-Vanuatu workers were employed for these land area construction works after proper training and they are very happy to engage in this construction process.

Designed with a 360-metre-long wharf apron, the new wharf after completion will be able to berth a 30,000 dead-weight tonnage cargo ship or a 100,000 GT cruise ship.

This project also includes a tourism terminal, 3 warehouses, roads, container yards and supporting facilities.

All main construction works of the wharf apron, which includes a 76-metre extension towards east and a 152-metre reconstruction on the west, are now completed by Shanghai Construction Group due to the continuous hard work and close collaboration with the locals. The main structure of Eastern Apron was completed on February, 2016 and Western Apron on April, 2016.

During the past construction period, Shanghai Construction Group has overcome the challenges brought by the short of supply in materials, daily operations of the Wharf and other unexpected events, and in the end the Company managed to keep up with the construction schedule, or even get ahead of it.

What’s more, both the team and their newly-built wharf are solid and tough enough to withstand the fearsome natural disasters, including several strong earthquakes occurred closely to the construction site, and violent direct hit by cyclones.

Currently the Western Wharf apron is in the final furnishing stage. Railings, bollards and curbs are being painted. Also, the rehabilitation of the old wharf has already began and the constructions of Terminal, Warehouses, Roads and Container Yards are underway at the same time.

The Project of Rehabilitation and Extension of Luganville Main Wharf is of great significance to local economy and tourism. And Shanghai Construction Group is aiming at completing the wharf project by middle of 2017 with high quality.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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Can we assume that the government of Vanuatu had this built for free with no conditions..... was the Chinese government feeling very generous and just wanted to spend 100's of millions of dollars from the goodness of its heart. Or is there a longer term plan by China to eventuality take over the port for military purposes. The people of Vanuatu and it's government needs to wake up to the fact that the Chinese don't do anything without a strategic reason.... and it wont be in he best interest of Vanuatu; it will always be in the interest of China.

As a former harbourmaster and pilot at this port from 1979 to 1982,I was involved at times in discussions re refurbishment of this originally 145 meter American built facilty, constructed quickly in war conditions. The problem seen at the time was that the issue was the filled containment using interlocking steel caissons. These were then in poor repair... Putting a new berthing face attached to the caisson sysetm was seen as high risk as the facility is in a high earthquake zone. Should there be a 7.8 earthquake then who is going to pay? China or the Vanuatu Government?

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