Matautu wharf closure possible

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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SAMOA PORTS C.E.O: Aiganalaavasa Uialatea Fereti.

SAMOA PORTS C.E.O: Aiganalaavasa Uialatea Fereti. (Photo: Samoa Observer / File)

The government has moved to assure minimal disruption to shipping schedules with the Matautu Wharf likely to be closed for the installation of the Tui Samoa Internet Cable.

The General Manager of the Samoa Ports Authority (S.P.A), Aiganalaavasa Uialatea Fereti, told the Samoa Observer yesterday the government is working with the relevant stakeholders to ensure vital supplies are not affected when T.E. SubCom company arrives to assist with the installation of the fiber optic cable system.

The installation is scheduled from August to October this year. It means that the Matautu Wharf could be closed for up to a month.

But Aiganalaavasa said that the government is negotiating with the T.E. SubCom and they are hoping for a workable solution.

 “The request came through the Samoa Submarine Company,” said Aiganalaavasa. 

“And so the government is now negotiating with T.E. SubCom as the schedules given from T.E. might disrupt vessel schedules during that time. 

“We want to make sure that the adjusted schedule will not disrupt any supplies and other deliverables through our ports.”

Aiganalaavasa said they have already conducted shipping agents in relation to the plan. 

“We are waiting for a reply or a feedback from them as the Prime Minister raised the issue in a meeting with other Shipping Agents two weeks ago.”

The General Manager of S.P.A said they are not considering the full closure of the port.

“That is not included in our plan,” he said.

“That is not possible; we cannot do such a thing as we know how important it is for wholesales and other companies to have their goods imported as scheduled. So such a thing will never happen.”

Asked whether they will host a consultation for wholesalers in the country to clarify this issue, Aiganalaavasa said they could do that it if it’s necessary. 

“Like I said before, we have conducted consultations with other shipping agents who are bringing in goods for the different wholesales and other companies in the country. 

“But if we have to do consultations for wholesales as well, then we can do that too.”

Contacted for a comment yesterday, the C.E.O of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Su’a Pou Onesemo, said S.P.A is handling the matter.

 “S.P.A will manage all operations during the cable construction time,” he said. “The adjusted schedule will not affect any supplies and other deliverables through our ports.”

It was not possible to get a comment from the Chamber of Commerce at press time.

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