ALOTAU, PAPUA NEW GUINEA (6 July 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea today commissioned the Alotau Wharf as part of the cofinanced Building Resilience to Climate Change in Papua New Guinea (PNG) project, which has upgraded Alotau Wharf to improve safety and make it less vulnerable to climate change.

Papua New Guinea’s Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso led the commissioning, together with ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill and Australian High Commission's Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann. The ceremony involved ribbon-cutting and a tour of the completed wharf.

“The new Alotau Wharf will be more resilient to climate change and will serve as a model for climate-proofing infrastructure in PNG,” said Mr. Rosso. “The improved wharf will also open up Alotau’s access to new markets, supporting private sector investment.”

The original Alotau Wharf structure was demolished, and a new wharf built alongside, with a concrete pontoon bridge and a causeway. The new wharf was elevated high enough to minimize wave and debris damage on the underside, as well as including pilings able to withstand earthquakes.

“Connectivity from Alotau to the remote islands of Milne Bay and other parts of PNG will be boosted and access to employment opportunities will increase, especially for women involved in agriculture and marketing,” said Mr. Hill. “The new wharf will be a lifeline to the people of the outer islands, during an emergency.”

The new wharf was funded by $10.5 million additional financing grants—$7.6 million from ADB and $2.9 million from the Australian government.

“This project demonstrates our commitment to investing in quality, purpose-built, and climate resilient infrastructure that meets the needs of your communities,” said Mr. Lehmann. “As PNG’s largest maritime province, resilient quality infrastructure is critical for Milne Bay. The upgraded wharf will help drive economic growth. “

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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