Avatiu Port Development Project
Leading Organization:Cook Islands Ports Authority (CIPA)
Implementing Agency and Partnering Organizations:Cook Islands Government, ADB, NZAID, and the European Union
The Project will rehabilitate and expand the capacity of Avatiu port. The Project comprises
(i) widening the harbour entrance,
(ii) dredging to increase the depth alongside the wharf plus dredging and enlarging the ship turning area, and
(iii) reconstructing and realigning the quay and repairing the adjacent wharf deck.
The impact will be continued economic growth and improved well-being of the population (the disadvantaged in particular). The outcome will be a secure and efficient port infrastructure in Rarotonga with constraints and safety risks removed.
Avatiu is the principal international port for the Cook Islands, as well as the transshipment port for cargo to the second most populated island of Aitutaki and the less populated outer islands. The country is heavily reliant on international imports by sea to support its tourism industry— the mainstay of the country’s economy—as well as for general imports and exports. Continued efficient operation of the port, its security against periodic cyclone events, and its development to accommodate changes in regional shipping methods are therefore critical to the Cook Islands’ economy and the social well-being of its population. The wharf is weak, ageing, and vulnerable to damage from storms and impact from vessels. The port is at the margin of safe operations for international cargo vessels currently serving the Cook Islands. Meanwhile, longer, deeper-draft, and more efficient cargo vessels are planned for the Pacific Islands trade in the next few years. The existing vessels will be removed from service. The larger ships cannot be handled through Avatiu at present, due to limited depth alongside the wharf and in the harbour, berthing length limitations, and inadequate turning area within the harbour. The length limitation also prevents larger cruise vessels from berthing at Avatiu, thus limiting the economic benefit to be gained from this part of the tourism market. Without the project, there will be escalating costs for periodic repair of the wharf and the port’s use will need to be restricted to only smaller vessels. Costs will be higher, and there will be adverse economic impacts.
ADB Contact: Emma Ferguson Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Status:Under Implementation (as of March 2011)
Primary Beneficiaries:Port of Avatiu0