23 April 2015 An interview held with the Head of Marine & Ports Division, Kelela Tonga about a Proposed New Domestic Wharf Project for local vessels here in Tonga such as the MV ‘Otuanga’ofa, MV Niuvakai, MV Sitka, MV ‘Onemato, MV ‘Alaimoana and so forth will begin next year.
This proposal was created by the MPD for JICA with an approximated fund of $10Million Tongan Pa’anga. However, based on few assessments and survey made by JICA, they confirmed that this project should be in a value of $33Million Pa’anga.
In addition, it is a requirement for any projects whether it’s a minor or a major project, there must be an approval from the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee (EIA) before it started. As for this reason, they were awaited for that approval to be made. According to the Head of the MPD, Kelela said that an expert team was also sent from JICA to undergo some surveys and assessments about this project. “It was a heavy and hard work went on in cooperating with the JICA but we continue to work hand in hand on developing the EIA report” reported by Kelela.
The project is targeted to commence in 2016 and completed in 2018 (a 2 years work plan construction). It will be located 50 meters to the west side of Faua Wharf. Kelela expressed gratitude on behalf of her division (MPD) for their hard work trying to complete all reports and proposals needed even though it was returned back and resubmit a few times before finally got approved by EIA. She said that the approval of the $33Million Pa’anga Fund for the project is based on the approval from EIA committee. And as of now, the EIA approved it already yet they are still waiting for the official document of approval from JICA before the projects begins next year.
However, at the same time, the Minister for Infrastructure Hon. ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu is very much positive and supportive for this and for any upcoming project. “I believe that this is one way that it’ll push the development of this country to move even to the next level”, Hon. ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu added. He also mentioned that as he visited the People's Republic of China few weeks ago, he has requested for some aids to carry out some more projects such as to construct an International Wharf in Vava’u for large vessels and ships like Tourists Cruise Ships, Container Ships, Tankers and so forth. And also to establish an Oil Depot as the International Wharf is constructed for oil storage. Based on his explanation he said that “This may increase the level of tourism here in Tonga and definitely will take Tonga to become a more advance country”. As he continue on with the eagerness and excitements about these, he also stated that a refining of wharfs in ‘Eua, Ha’apai and the Niuas will be carried out as well in the new future. For all of these developments and projects coming up in the near future for the Minister and his Ministry (MOI), Hon. ‘Etuate Sungalu Lavulavu together with his Ministry is still aiming for the best of their service to be done for the Government and for the people as a whole to be pleased.
Issued by the : Ministry of Infrastructure