A Sunshine Coast company has been tasked with delivering one of the world’s most remote civil and marine construction projects, with Hall Contracting having been contracted by the Government of Tokelau to upgrade reef passages and construct four new wharves in the remote island nation of Tokelau.
The works — which will see Tokelauan locals benefit from safer and more reliable ship-to-shore operations — are expected to commence in May 2018 and conclude in November 2019.
Hall Contracting CEO Cameron Hall said one of the company’s tugs and a 52-foot barge had set sail from Brisbane recently, with the journey to Tokelau’s Atufu atoll expected to take around four weeks.
“Based in the southern Pacific Ocean, Tokelau is very isolated and only accessible by sea, with its nearest neighbour, Samoa, approximately 500km away,” Mr Hall said.
“With this in mind, proficiency in planning and logistics has been imperative, as any overlooked parts or pieces of equipment will spend weeks in transit and cannot be flown onto the various atolls.”
“Our team has had to consider every conceivable scenario, and I think it’s fair to say we have more spare parts on board our barge for the three excavators and loader being used than Volvo currently has housed in Australia!”
In addition to civil construction equipment, the barge houses 10 shipping containers including offices, a kitchen, medical facility and store rooms; twelve 3,000-litre fuel tanks; eight generator plants; a desalination plant; satellite communication equipment; and five 10,000-litre water tanks to service the workers.
Mr Hall said at present, tidal and weather conditions in Tokelau regularly impacted scheduled deliveries, delaying the supply of goods.
“Tokelau is reliant on these operations for transporting passengers and goods, so it’s vital that they can operate smoothly moving forward,” Mr Hall said.
“The existing channels afford little protection from swell and are incredibly exposed, so widening and deepening the reef passages will enable ship-to-shore vessels, smaller fishing boats and inter-island vessels to navigate the area more easily and safely.”
“The works will provide increased shelter from wave action and have been designed to minimise the need for regular maintenance.”
“Our crew will also upgrade the existing wharf and ramp structures on the Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo atolls as part of our efforts in Tokelau.”
Mr Hall said a number of Pacific Islanders had been recruited to support the team of 13 Australian workers.
“We’re proud to have 14 skilled Samoan workers joining our team in Tokelau and are also looking to hire a number of Tokelauans.”
“The local workers will be trained in the use of small tools, concreting and general labouring duties, which will contribute positively to the economies of Pacific Island communities.”
Mr Hall said while the project was the first the company would undertake in Tokelau, Hall Contracting had successfully delivered a range of works in the Pacific Islands funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“Our team has been servicing the Pacific Islands for more than 10 years, with a particular focus on remote civil, dredging and marine projects,” Mr Hall said.
“Some of the works we have delivered in the past include the repair of a storm breach and filling of ‘borrow pits’ on Tuvalu’s Funafuti atoll, as well as construction of a seawall on the Nukufetau atoll, which assists in protecting locals from the impacts of climate change.”
“Our upcoming project in Tokelau will be carefully staged over a year-and-a-half, with the first wharf being built on Atafu, closely followed by a second on Nukunonu later this year.”
“The remaining two wharves will be constructed on Fakaofo Fale and Fakaofo Fala in 2019.”
The Government of Tokelau has commissioned the project.
Hall Contracting specialises in climate change adaptation and resilience including land reclamation, coastal protection, flood mitigation dredging and infrastructure delivery.
To find out more, call +61 7 5445 5977 or visit www.hallcontracting.com.au.
What’s on board the barge?
- Three 35-tonne excavators;
- A 10-tonne wheeled loader;
- A 25-tonne articulated dump truck;
- Two concrete agitator trucks;
- A concrete batch plant;
- Twelve 3,000-litre fuel tanks;
- Eight generator plants;
- A desalination plant;
- Satellite communication equipment;
- 10 shipping containers including offices, a kitchen, medical facility and store rooms;
- Five 10,000-litre water tanks;
- 150 tonnes of precast concrete panels;
- 110 tonnes of steel;
- Small tools;
- Plenty of coffee, sugar and long life milk!