NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA (27 February 2024) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Tonga today participated in a handover ceremony of Mooring Dolphin No. 3 as part of the ADB-supported Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project.

Ministry of Infrastructure Chief Executive Lopeti Heimuli led the ceremony. He was joined by members of ADB Board of Directors led by Executive Director Shigeo Shimizu. ADB’s Pacific Subregional Office Regional Director Aaron Batten delivered keynote remarks at the event.

“The Queen Salote International Wharf is a lifeline for the people of Tonga,” said Mr. Batten. “The project is undertaking critical upgrades to make the wharf safer, more efficient, and more resilient to severe weather events.”

Mooring Dolphin No. 3 is a major component of these works and will be used to better secure mooring lines from vessels berthed at both wharves to ensure the safe docking of vessels during loading and offloading of cargo containers. These upgrades will play a critical role in the port’s capacity to deliver safe, reliable, and more affordable goods and services to the people of Tonga.

The Nuku’alofa Port Upgrade Project is a partnership of ADB, the Government of Australia, and the Government of Tonga as part of their ongoing commitment to rehabilitate, renew, and expand Tonga’s transport infrastructure.

The project is funded by a $55 million grant from the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries. The Government of Australia through their Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific contributed $20 million. The Government of Tonga also contributed $8.5 million in terms of taxes and duties, bringing the total cost of the project to $83.5 million.

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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