The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Vanuatu Department of Ports and Harbors successfully implemented the recently delivered Pacific Safety of Navigation project in Luganville Port. From August 30th to September 2nd, 2023, Aids to Navigation (AtoN) in and around the port area were installed and deployed. This initiative is made possible through the Pacific Safety of Navigation Project, an endeavour led by SPC and funded by the International Foundation of Aids to Navigation (IFAN).
During phase 2 of the project, the Department of Ports and Harbours identified the port of Luganville as a high-priority area to carry out a risk assessment. In October 2019, SPC together with the Ports and Harbours Department, carried out the risk assessment using the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) SIRA tool. It revealed several hazards to navigation, and recommendations were proposed to address them. Unfortunately, Vanuatu couldn’t implement these measures at the time due to various natural disasters, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Luganville ports SIRA report recommendations were implemented as part of the phase 3 activity for PICs AtoN infrastructure.
This phase focused on procuring and installing AtoN infrastructure in and around the Luganville Port. The project successfully funded the procurement of four cardinal marks to define the outer extent of the Guyon Reef, one lit starboard buoy for the Georges Phillipar passage, one south cardinal mark for the Sarakata River mouth, and four special lit buoys to mark the outer confines of a Marine Protected Area. Additionally, the project provided resources for a vessel to deploy these buoys and install piles for the aids to navigation cardinal marks.
It's important to note that the Republic of Vanuatu is a signatory to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), and as such, they are obliged to provide adequate aids to navigation based on the volume of traffic and the degree of risk requires. Vanuatu is also one of the 13 Pacific Islands countries targeted by the Pacific Safety of Navigation Project. This crucial undertaking aims to enhance capacity, governance, and infrastructure, ultimately strengthening the safety of navigation in the Pacific region.
SPC is thrilled about the impact of this project and confident that it will contribute to safer navigation for all mariners in and around Luganville Port.