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AIFFP signs co-financing arrangement with ADB for climate-resilient upgrades to Nuku’alofa Port, Tonga

AIFFP signs co-financing arrangement with ADB for climate-resilient upgrades to Nuku’alofa Port, Tonga

The AIFFP, is partnering with the ADB and the Kingdom of Tonga to provide $31.25 million for the critical upgrades to Nuku’alofa Port . AIFFP funding forms part of a $138.3 million project that will provide climate-resilient upgrades to the Queen Salote International Wharf (QSIW) of Nuku’alofa Port. 

As a small island nation, Tonga is highly dependent on imports of strategic commodities including fuel and food, with more than 98 per cent of those imports arriving by sea. The QSIW of Nuku’alofa Port plays a vital role in Tonga's economy, handling more than 95 per cent of Tonga’s total containerised volume, and is therefore a critical asset for the People of Tonga.

The Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project will provide safer, more reliable and affordable transport infrastructure and services in Tonga through climate-resilient upgrades.

The Project will rehabilitate and expand existing port infrastructure, including upgrading wharf one and the container yard, extending wharf two by 50m m total length 110m, upgrading port access roads and port services such as electrical systems, stormwater drainage, fire safety, water resource management, fuel and CCTV. It will improve capacity, management, and operational practices at the port including implementing a gender equality policy at Ports Authority Tonga.

More than three quarters of the workforce will be local, as well as training for locals, which will boost the Tongan economy. Around three quarters of workers currently on-site are Tongan. Tongan women engineers are working in key roles local and two local female university graduates have been trained to run the site laboratory.

Critically, the project will integrate adaptation and mitigation measures to protect the port against climate impacts and natural disasters. The port will be protected against sea level rise through the building of a new sea wall and raising the yard level. Improved drainage and upgrades to access roads will help protect against high rainfall events, and enhanced rainwater harvesting capacity will provide back-up water supply during droughts. The Project will also upgrade operational technology for climate-smart enhancements such as new electrical systems, LED lighting and improved fuel monitoring.

The AIFFP’s involvement in this important project aligns with our commitment to supporting Tonga’s Strategic Development Framework 2015 – 2025 and National Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-2030. The investment aligns with the AIFFP’s climate change priorities and reinforces our commitment to work together with Pacific partners to support long-term economic recovery and growth. 

Media release: Delivering high quality, climate resilient, job creating infrastructure in Tonga