After two years of no maintenance, the Aitape Port in the West Sepik Province will now be rehabilitated by the PNG Ports Limited at a cost of K24 million under its community service obligation starting in April of this year.
The Aitape Port rehabilitation exercise will be done in collaboration with the Aitape Lumi District Development Authority and MP Anderson Mise.
The funding of the rehabilitation will come from the blended financial package of K1.5 billion by the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) which is part of a bi-lateral sovereign loan between the Australian Government, PNG Government and PNG Ports.
The port was declared unsafe to use in February of 2021 after a mechanical wave damaged it.
The Port was built in 1972 by the Department of Works, refurbished in 1990. In 2010, it was acquired by PNG Port and upgraded again in 2013 and 2014 constructed passenger facilities and coastal defense system.
In a meeting between MP Mise and PNG Ports Chief Executive Officer Rodney Begley in Port Moresby, CEO Begley said the port is a quiet port with no vessel traffic.
“Between December 2021 and December 2022, there were zero vessel calls, no cargo exchange and containers at the port,” Begley said.
“Previous years had an average of 3 vessel calls per year.”
“However, PNG Ports, through the AIFFP funding, will be rehabilitating the port to ensure that ships call at the port again, open up Aitape to sea trade and contribute towards the growth of the district’s economy,” he said.
Member for Aitape Lumi Anderson Mise said ports provide vital services and contribute to the economic growth and thanked the PNG Ports for the initiative in contributing to the development of the district in line with his development goals.