Longest wharf in south Pacific opens in Luganville—6 months ahead of schedule

A file image of a cruise ship docked at the new Luganville wharf. Photo: Carnival Cruises

A file image of a cruise ship docked at the new Luganville wharf. Photo: Carnival Cruises

The new 360 metre Luganville Wharf was officially handed over by the Chinese Ambassador on Saturday. Government and provincial leaders were on hand to receive the important addition to Vanuatu’s infrastructure. The wharf was financed by a Chinese EXIM Bank loan of Vt 9 billion. Passenger facilities for tourist arrivals form part of the project and the wharf can receive two cruise liners or three cargo ships simultaneously. Prime Minister Charlot Salwai emphasized the importance of paying off the loan made by the government at the earliest opportunity. Shanghai Construction Group won the tender to construct the wharf and has completed the task in record time: the 3-year contract was concluded 6 months early. It’s the biggest Chinese project in Vanuatu to date. A parade took distinguished visitors and Northern Islands leaders to the NISCOL grounds where Prime Minister Salwai conducted a kastom ceremony to thank the kastom owners of the land where the wharf has been built.

The work of provincial councillors is not to fund community projects, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Tanna MP Andrew Napuat has made clear. This is after receiving complaints from councillors that the sitting allowance they are receiving is insufficient to support village-level projects. Says Napuat: “councillors are not given any money or allocation directly for community projects”. Allocations are given to MPs.

Vanuatu Post is showing that state-owned enterprises can indeed make money. A dividend of over Vt 58 million was given to the Minister for Infrastructure to pay into the Treasury at a ceremony which took place in Santo last week. Finance Minister Pikioune also praised Vanuatu Post for its contribution to revenue.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office is welcoming tourism operators for what is billed as the ‘First Ever Travel Expo’ in the capital. It follows the annual TokTok Vanuatu on 2 September and brings the largest number of operators together.