APIA, SAMOA (9 August 2022) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Samoa today participated in an inauguration ceremony for a new tugboat funded by the ADB-supported Apia Port project.

Samoa Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa led the inauguration ceremony. She is joined by ADB Director General for the Pacific Leah Gutierrez, ADB Alternate Executive Director Karen Murray, and Minister of Works and Transport Infrastructure and the Samoa Port Authority Olo Afoa Fiti Vaai, who helped launch the tugboat.

“This project is transforming Apia Port into a safer, more secure, and greener international gateway,” said Ms. Gutierrez. “Resilient, efficient ports are critical elements of transportation links and supply chains in the Pacific and this new tugboat will assist vessels in Apia Port with fast, safe, and smooth berthing and unberthing operations.”

“Building resilience to climate change, strengthening border security, and boosting trade are all key components of the Apia Port Project,” said Mr. Olo Afoa Fiti Vaai. “We will continue working with ADB to make Apia Port a more secure, and greener international gateway.”

Tugboats play a critical role in Apia Port’s operations, connecting arriving vessels inside the reef and berthing and de-birthing of vessels, as well as helping emergency services conduct fire fighting.

The new tugboat is named Sa’ula-60, which combines the Samoan word for blue marlin with celebrations for Samoa’s 60th year of independence. It will replace two aging tugboats that have a collective age of about 50 years and currently operate well below potential efficiency and safety standards.

The project supported by ADB and Samoa is upgrading critical port infrastructure, including reconstructing the breakwater, upgrading the port terminal, implementing a wave-monitoring and early warning system, and procuring the Sa’ula-60 tugboat and a container x-ray scanner. The project will also support developing and delivering gender-sensitive green port initiatives to optimize operational and energy efficiency towards long-term sustainability of Samoa’s port operations.

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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