Malampa Provincial Government Council, Lakatoro, Malekula
Mon - Fri 8:00 - 17:00

Malekula Road Phase III

A nonbinding agreement for the VT13.2 billion construction of the Malekula Road Phase III was signed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and the Vanuatu Government in October 2021.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Jay Ngwele, Minister of Finance Johnny Koanapo and the Managing Director of CCECC, Liang Qing, put pens to paper for the agreement, in the presence of other government officials.

Nonbinding means the agreement is not legally enforced. It will come into effective afterwards once funds are secured, said the Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU), Johnson Binaru.

As part of its obligation, CCECC will go ahead with the project scoping phase while the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MoFEM) will secure funds required to complete the project.

Scoping involves designing and cost estimation. Construction will be done on three different routes, totaling to 77.5km. Route 1 commences from Unmet to Leviamp, Norsup to Vao for Route 2 and Route 3 is from Bushman Bay to Lamap.
The Minister of Finance explained that the government, through the MoFEM is considering a twist in its approach to major infrastructure projects investment.

Minister Koanapo said part of this twist includes sourcing construction materials locally, to create employment and support local economy.

“It’s a policy transition focus of the government. Sourcing construction materials locally will bring revenue to the community,” he said.

“We should not be hesitating to pay sand from landowners. This is their country. They are entitled to benefit from the projects.”

Minister for Infrastructure Ngwele commended the government’s push for infrastructure development growth.

CCECC Managing Director Qing acknowledged the government for its trust in CCECC to deliver the project.

Apart from the Malekula Road Phase III, CCECC is carrying out road projects on other islands. Currently, it is designing the VT992 million Tanna Road Phase III and the VT318 million asphalt road from Smet to the Port Vila Airport.

The projects are funded through loan arrangements. The government sourced a loan from the EXIM Bank of China in 2013 to finance the two major infrastructure projects during their initial phases.

When signing the contract for the Tanna Road Phase III last month with CCECC, Minister Koanapo said the government with the support of donor partners will securing funds for the projects.

The government is faithful in repaying its project loans despite the current COVID-19 crisis, he added