SOLOMON Ports achieved a historic moment yesterday with the commissioning of the SBD28 million new ‘Wate Jetty’ at Honiara Port.
The event was graced by the presence of the Caretaker Prime Minister, Honorable Manasseh Sogavare, who served as the guest of honor and had the esteemed privilege of officially inaugurating the new jetty. The ceremony was attended by government ministers, representatives from domestic shipping companies and operators, The Paramount Chief of Tadai, heads of diplomatic missions, as well as the board, management, and staff of Solomon Ports.
Named ‘Wate Jetty,’ after one of our Ports Pioneers, the new infrastructure stands as a testament to our commitment to enhancing port facilities and services throughout the Solomon Islands. Designed by BECA Engineering of New Zealand, the jetty was fully self-funded by Solomon Ports and represents a significant upgrade from the existing infrastructure. Spanning 50 meters in length and 14 meters in width, the new jetty surpasses its predecessor in size, offering enhanced capacity to accommodate the increasing number of vessels utilizing the domestic terminal.
The commissioning of the new jetty addresses the evolving needs of domestic shipping in the Solomon Islands, particularly in response to the growing size and capacity of passenger vessels serving the islands and provinces. With a wider design, the ‘Wate Jetty’ can accommodate two vehicles simultaneously, facilitating faster loading and unloading of cargo and improving vessel turnaround times.
Notably, the ‘Wate Jetty’ features expansive parking areas and is the first jetty in the Solomon Islands to be fully compatible with individuals with disabilities. Specifically designed walkways cater to wheelchair accessibility, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all members of the community.
A remarkable achievement for the Solomon Islands, the construction of the ‘Wate Jetty’ was accomplished entirely by Solomon Islanders, from engineers to laborers, underscoring the nation’s capacity for self-sufficiency and development. The completion of the jetty signifies a significant milestone for Solomon Ports as a state-owned enterprise, showcasing its dedication to advancing port infrastructure and services for the benefit of the nation.
While delivering his keynote address this morning, Caretaker Prime Minister Hon. Sogavare congratulated the port for leading the way in infrastructure development and recognizing the need to accommodate more vessels.
“I would like to congratulate the board management, and staff of SIPA for responding to the need, to provide much needed service for our people, and to serve our people “he said.
“This is a demonstration that the port is self sufficient, and can build its own infrastructures.”
Looking ahead, Solomon Ports remains committed to further enhancing domestic shipping services in the Solomon Islands. Plans are already underway for the construction of a similar jetty adjacent to the ‘Wate Jetty,’ scheduled to commence next year.