Govt. moves to procure container x-ray scanner

By Adel Fruean 11 October 2020, 10:00AM

The Government is moving to procure a container x-ray scanner for the Matautu wharf.  This was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of Ministry of Finance, Leasiosiofa'asisina Oscar Malielegaoi.

The procurement of the container scanner is part of a project that will enhance the safety, security, and sustainability of the wharf, which is Samoa’s main international maritime gateway.

The Asian Development Bank (A.D.B.) has approved a $62.26 million grant for the project.

Leasiosiofa'asisina told the Samoa Observer that there is already a project that will transform the Matautu wharf but it’s in different phases: one is to again rebuild the breakwater before the port that is badly damaged.

“That area will all be upgraded, that project was first constructed 30 years ago, it used to be very high but it’s not anymore,” he said.

He explained that if there is no work to fix it than the whole port will be at risk because of the waves and climate change.

“We have already secured funding and signed an agreement with A.D.B. and they will build that. Samoa is in the process of procuring that [container] x-ray scanner, unfortunately no companies in the Pacific [like] Australia and New Zealand can manufacture it.”

He added that Government is in the process of looking at companies from the United States or Asia.

The Ministry of Customs and Revenue previously invited bids that would supply, commission, guarantee and train staff in the use of Samoa’s very first container x-ray scanner from eligible source countries of A.D.B. 

According to a media release issued by A.D.B., it states that the project will rehabilitate and upgrade the wharf to withstand a 100-year storm event and 50-year sea-level rise. 

“A multi-hazard disaster preparedness plan will also be formulated to mitigate disruption of port operations in the aftermath of a disaster event,” read the statement. 

It also added that the terminal infrastructure will be upgraded to enhance safety and capacity, while a customs facility with a new container x-ray scanner to enable effective border management will be constructed. Gender-responsive green port initiatives will also be piloted to promote clean and sustainable port operations and management.

The “Enhancing Safety, Security, and Sustainability of Apia Port Project” will promote greater participation of women employees in undertaking technical and management roles to operationalize the green port initiatives and multi-hazard disaster preparedness plans.

A.D.B. is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members-49 from the region.

By Adel Fruean 11 October 2020, 10:00AM

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