19 Apr 2018

Samoa PM announces Asau channel plans

8:21 am on 19 April 2018

Samoa's prime minister says funding has been secured to dredge Savaii's Asau channel.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the project could make Asau an international port of entry in two years.

Harbour facilities at Asau were constructed by the government in the mid 1960s to accomodate an American timber company which for a time was Samoa's biggest employer.

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Without saying where funding for the project had come from, Tuilaepa announced yesterday the channel would be deepened and widened to international standards.

The Prime Minister said he is confident that Asau Wharf would also get a long overdue facelift that would open up shipping access and economic benefits for the Big Island.

He said the benefits could come in the form of cruise ships and the expanision of the tourism industry.

"The potential for investors to lease lands for business developments and tourist accommodation facilities cannot be discounted," Tuilaepa said.

"And it will translate to new jobs and fresh cash injected into the economy, not just Asau but across the board."

"It can also decentralize shipping services to the Big Island that should boost our trading capacities and of course tourism through cruise ships," he said.