China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation


$17 million

Contract Type

Design & Construct


Nov 2011



Vuna Wharf

We’re supporting tourism and economic growth in Tonga

Tourism is one of Tonga’s largest industries, and a key priority of the government to drive economic growth. To support the burgeoning cruise ship market, we designed and constructed a new 120m wharf which provides a dedicated berth for cruise vessels. Financed via an aid loan from China’s EXIM Bank, the new wharf allows cruise ships to moor at the end of Nuku’alofa's main street and within sight of the Royal Palace – improving accessibility for passengers, who previously berthed at a commercial wharf 3km from the town centre.

The new wharf was constructed adjacent to the original 1906-era Vuna Wharf, which was severely damaged by Cyclone Isaac in 1982.

The 130m long x 10m wide wharf comprises a hybrid, precast/cast in-situ concrete structure supported on 171 bottom driven, 810mm diameter steel tube piles with a 5m long steel ‘H’ section ‘stinger’ to key into the underlying coral. The wharf deck design maximised use of pre-cast concrete to fast-track construction and eliminate the need for costly over water soffit formwork. Because of the stringent quality controls, we batched and cast all concrete on site.

We also constructed two offshore mooring dolphin structures (including temporary access causeways and island platforms) and two on shore mooring structures. Prior to commencing permanent works on site, we undertook extensive investigation of the site including geotechnical and seabed conditions, and underwater investigation drilling to ensure we selected the right piling and structural design solution.
We contracted Beca to provide design service for the wharf. 

Project Partners

Name Beca

Role Consultant