Works are progressing well on site on the Alotau Provincial Wharf project.
Demolition of the existing wharf is complete, and the piling works for the new structure has commenced. The weather has been challenging with some significant rain events slowing works at times, but we are moving ahead well and maintaining the program.
Yard splicing of piles and construction of precast concrete elements in our Townsville yard has been going on for many months but is now complete, and our 54m x 18m barge PMG182 is progressively being loaded with these components ready for a tow to Alotau in the next few weeks to provide materials for construction of the second portion of the new wharf. Also onboard is the new concrete pontoons and aluminium gangway which have been provided by Superior Jetties. Our internationally flagged tug PMG Pride will be performing this tow.
A highlight so far for some of site the team was attending the Groundbreaking Ceremony which was jointly planned and hosted by the Climate Change and Development Authority (CCDA) and Milne Bay Provincial Government. Our team were made to feel very welcome and this has set a very positive tone to the project. We have many locals employed on the project, both direct and through our PNG based subcontractors Masurina Constructions, Masurina Lodge, Pacific Towing and Tanorama. We have about 50% male and 50% female employment by tracked hours for our local workforce. We observe much pride from our local workforce in working on this very important project in their hometown. As works progress we aim to scale back Australian personnel and increase PNG National workforce to close out the project.
Part of our commitment to the region is to provide HIV awareness, Gender Base Awareness and training to the local community and businesses. EHSO’s, and HIV/AIDS Specialists have been working for us in Alotau since April 2022 in rolling out these programs. We have had a large take up by businesses and schools in the region to run HIV awareness sessions. In addition to this we had a Gender Base Specialist deployed from Port Moresby to help develop the Gender Base Action Plan, stakeholder engagement lists and identify local clinics and officers that can assist with awareness programs. Our officers have been visiting local businesses and schools during organised sessions, to offer these awareness programs free of charge to the wider community, which have been well received.