29 Sep 2003

Fiji's two major ports to be upgraded

4:31 pm on 29 September 2003

Greater efficiency is expected at Fiji's two major ports of Suva and Lautoka once a major redevelopment project is finished.

The general manager of the Maritime and Ports Authority of Fiji, Waqa Bauleka, says work on both ports will go ahead early next year and will cost a total of 27 million U.S. dollars.

He says they're expecting annual growth of three percent and the ports needed upgrading to meet this.

Mr Bauleka says the redevelopment will strengthen the port at Suva which has an earthquake risk as well as increase the efficiency.

"It just increases the turnaround vessels which is the efficiency of the vessel for loading and unloading because we will be able to operate forklifts right from the ship side onto the container yard proper instead of double-handling with lowloaders on trucks and then into the container yard and then the forklift operates from there."

The funding is coming from both the Asian Development bank and the government.