Work on the Matautu Wharf is scheduled for completion by June, 2018.
This was confirmed to the Samoa Observer by the Member of Parliament and Associate Minister for Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Seiuli Ueligitone during a project site visitation last week.
Also present was Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aioki.
The US$35 million (T$90.4 million) Enhancement of Safety of Apia Port project is funded by the Government of Japan.
“This project is very important to Japan because this is the place where cruise ships around the world can dock while tourists explore Samoa,” said Maugaoleatuolo.
The port has been expanded to 340 metres so it can cater for large cruise ships.
Mr. Aioki said: “The whole work includes the construction of container yard and pavement (the container yard will increase from 17,000m2 to 23,000m2).
“Installation of fenders for safe mooring and improvement and installation of navigation aids as well as the two tug boats rehabilitation works are also p[art of the project .”
Seiuli says the project is a positive investment and it contributes to Samoa’s economic growth.
“Two to three cruise ships or cargo ships can now dock at Matautu Wharf at the same time which is very good compared to previous years.”
Members of Parliament, Faumuina Wayne Fong, Faaulusau Rosa Duffy Stowers and Olo Fiti Vaai were also present at the site visit.
Olo said: “The development is really good. What the government is proposing now for Vaiusu should not be carried out even though millions of dollars have already being spent on it.
“What also makes me happy is our local people are being employed by the Wakachiku Construction Co. Limited from Japan to do the actual work.
“The grant is provided by Japan as well as the engineers, but the whole work is done by our people, for our people,” he said.
Port Master, Seinafolava Lotomau Tomane said about 100 locals are employed by Wakachiku Limited.
“These people are from CaBella Company and others that I cannot recall.
“These local employees are being paid well.
“The iron used for the work is from overseas but the cement is provided by Apia Concrete Products which is really good because it benefits our local companies as well,” said Mr. Tomane.