Bilateral Relations » Japan's Economic Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Kiribati » Past Assistance Projects toKiribati » General Grant Aid and Grant AId for Fisheries » Press Release


Government of Japan Funds Expansion of Betio Port in the Republic of Kiribati

Press Release No: 46

Date: Tuesday, 6th December 2011


The Government and people of the Republic of Kiribati will soon witness the ground breaking ceremony on the Project for Expansion of Betio Port. The Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Kiribati, H.E. Yutaka Yoshizawa will be represented by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Takeshi Tanabe who will be present at Betio Port for the ground breaking ceremony in Tarawa, Kiribati at 5.00 p.m. on Wednesday 7th December, 2011.
A grant of approximately JPY 3 billion equivalent to Aus$ 39 million was made available for this project which includes detailed design and construction works on expansion of Betio port. This assistance is in addition to the aid given in year 2000, whereby, the Government of Japan’s Grant Aid comprised of a wharf of 6.0 metre water depth and 80 metre extension, container yards of 17000m2 area, an administration office, container freight station and related facilities, was implemented. However, due to increased volume of imported containerised cargo transported by medium-sized container ships with the hulls averaging between 8 to 9 metres, the ships often faced difficulties in berthing at the existing wharf to load and unload cargo given wharf depth of 6.0 metres. The Project for Expansion of the Betio Port will include deepening the wharf from the current 6.0 metres to 9.0 metres by extending the pier further offshore with provision of new cargo-handling equipment.  

It is envisaged that the expansion of Betio port will ensure improvement of the port’s efficiency and enhance trade and cargo handling function of the wharf.

Japan’s assistance follows a request from the Government of the Republic of Kiribati in 2006 to develop the pier for medium-sized vessels with of 9.0 meter water depth and provide cargo handling equipment. Following a preliminary study conducted by a Japanese study team in 2007 and Basic Design Study in 2008 to 2009, the Government of Japan decided to provide the grant aid under its bilateral development assistance programme to the Government of the Republic of Kiribati. This grant aid is in line with Japan’s objective to provide sustainable and constructive support for the development of projects that contribute to the improvement of socio-economic development of developing countries.