Tokelauans are set to benefit from safer and more reliable ship-to-shore operations, with the Government of Tokelau having recently commissioned the upgrade of reef passages and the construction of four new wharves on the Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo atolls.
The works — which will be undertaken by Australian dredging and civil construction company Hall Pacific — are expected to commence in May 2018 and conclude in November 2019.
Hall Pacific CEO Cameron Hall said at present, tidal and weather conditions regularly impacted scheduled deliveries, delaying the supply of goods.
“Tokelau is reliant on these operations for transporting passengers and goods, so it’s vital that they can operate smoothly moving forward,” Mr Hall said.
“The existing channels afford little protection from swell and are incredibly exposed, so widening and deepening the reef passages will enable ship-to-shore vessels, smaller fishing boats and inter-island vessels to navigate the area more easily and safely.”
“The works will provide increased shelter from wave action and have been designed to minimise the need for regular maintenance.”
“Our crew will also upgrade the existing wharf and ramp structures on the various atolls as part of our efforts in Tokelau.”
Hall said a number of Pacific Islanders had been recruited to support the team of 13 Australian expatriate workers.
“We’re proud to have 14 skilled Samoan workers joining our team in Tokelau and are also looking to hire a number of Tokelauans.”
“The local workers will be trained in the use of small tools, concreting and general labouring duties, which will contribute positively to the economies of Pacific Island communities.”
Hall said while the project was the first the company would undertake in Tokelau, Hall Pacific had successfully delivered a range of works in Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Fiji.
“Our team has been servicing the Pacific Islands for more than 10 years, with a particular focus on remote civil, dredging and marine projects,” Hall said.