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Press Release provided by Mrs. Ethel Ageva-Namuri Public Relations Officer
Wewak Overseas Wharf Extension projects awaits funding
PNG Ports Corporation Limited’s (PNGPCL) scheduled project on the proposed Overseas Wharf Extension at the Wewak Port in the East Sepik Province has been delayed for some time now.
This is due to the process of releasing funds from the National Government. The money appropriated by the National Government for this project in its last year’s Supplementary budget is reportedly being held in the trust account with the Department of National Planning.
PNGPCL has been in dialogue with the Department of National Planning seeking advise on the processes and procedures required in order for such monies to be released. PNGPCL continues in its efforts to gain access to the funds.
Engineers have estimated the port extension project to be in the vicinity of K47 million.
In June, 2004 Ove Arup Pacific Consultants provided a report which recommended 80m extension to the existing wharf in Wewak. This followed the approval of the second fish cannery proposed to be constructed in Wewak.
The recommendation by Ove Arup Pacific is based on a peak production of 200mt/d which is equivalent to 1 or 2 vessels per day continuously unloading fish. This excludes coastal vessels berthing at the wharf. With the second throughput of 120 mt/d this will double to four vessels per day for fish alone.
The utilisation capacity of the existing berth is inadequate to handle the anticipated vessel traffic at the wharf. In order to alleviate traffic congestion, PNGPCL management proposed to extend the existing overseas wharf by constructing an 80m berth to cater for overseas and fishing vessels.
Coupled with Wewak township experiencing population and economic growth, the ever increasing business activities is reflective on the cargo throughput doubling during the last 5 years. The increasing port activities dictates that the project should be commenced as soon as possible.
The port of Wewak previously handled over 90,000 revenue tonnes of cargo which now has increased to some 180,000 revenue tonnes per annum. This represents an annual growth of between 25-35 per cent. This increase would obviously have a strain on the deteriorating existing infrastructure. Due to the extent of the deterioration, further neglect to the port would change the scope of work required and escalate the cost. The port now requires this project to get off the ground immediately.
Apart from the proposed second fish cannery, the project will also facilitate the import/export demand of the South Sea Tuna Factory which processes yellow fin and skipjack tuna and other general cargo.
Wewak port needs to cater for more frequent and larger fishing vessels to berth and other conventional vessels at the wharf to receive tuna catch or processed tuna. The spin-over effects of the wharf extension may in time also generate more economic activities for the surrounding areas.
Briefly, PNG Ports engineers and contractors engaged in the project had commenced preliminary works last year from the K1million remitted to PNGPCL by the National Government together with funds sourced internally from PNGPCL Capital Works Expenditure Budget (CAPEX) to enable an engineering company to undertake the design and documentation of the proposed wharf extension project.
Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) engineering consultants were engaged by PNG Ports Corporation to carry out Investigation, Detailed Design & Documentation and provide Construction supervision for this particular project.
The preliminary design work commenced in January, 2007 and was completed in April, 2007. The design was based on the existing borehole information located approximately 100m away from the site. Such an approach was considered necessary due to the difficulty in securing a barge and Drilling company to carry out the geotechnical investigation. When new borehole information were made available in August, 2007 the design was finalised using the actual ground conditions.
The scope of works comprise dredging 100,000m³ of material, backfilling of the fishpond at the rear of existing wharf, 2400m² storage area on the new causeway, 180mx9m wide earth-filled causeway, 2 No. x 32mx5 wide approach trestles, 2 breasting and mooring dolphins and 86mx19m wide wharfhead.
The project is phased into two parts; phase 1 involved Investigation, Detailed Design and Documentation which has been completed and phase 2, the actual construction (this has been put on hold due to funding).
The SMEC design team comprise of; a Project Manager/Port Planner, a Marine Engineer, a Civil Engineer, an Engineer, a Document Specialist/Cost Estimator and 2 draftsmen with a Civil Engineer seconded to the SMEC design team representing PNG Ports.
It started with Investigation involving hydrographic survey completed in August 2006 and geotechnical investigation in February, 2007. A detailed design was started in February 2007 with the layout of the extension. The phase 1 of the project report/comments have been incorporated.
The project is awaiting public tender pending release and availability of funding .
Authorised by:Mr. Brian Riches
Chief Executive Officer
Sent by: Mrs. Ethel Ageva-Namuri
Public Relations Officer Tel. +675 308 4293/321 1400
Port of Wewak requires urgent rehabilitation. Pictures taken by Ethel Namuri