PORT OF ASAU
Coordinates: 13°31′9.8″S 172°38′14″W
Alongside Port: Vessels 100 meters
Maximum Draft: 7 meters at low water
Distance to Town: 60 km to Salelologa
The village of Asau is situated on the northwestern coast of Savai’i island in Samoa. It is the capital village of the Vaisigano political district and serves as the main business centre at the west end of the island and ids approximately km by car from Salelologa village. The harbor in Asau is the most sheltered by in Savaii and a natural choice for a fishing base.
Asau was the centre of the timber industry in Samoa with logging of native forests. In the 1960s a new wharf was completed at Asau for the lumbering operations of an American company called the Potlatch Corporation, but this is no longer the case.
The breakwater protecting the bay is an old American airstrip from World War II. The port was well used in the past as it was well protected on the east and south by the main land and on the north and west by coral reefs.
The Port of Asau is currently under the care and jurisdictions of Samoa Ports Authority pursuant to the Ports Authority Act 1999. The port area is defined to include all seas areas within a two (2) mile radius from the main wharf.
Wharf & Harbour Description:
The wharf at the Port of Asau has max axle load of 10 tons measures 120m long and 13m wide with a height 2.8m above datum, having O-type fenders from one end of the wharf to the other. The current approach channel has a depth of 5.9m to 6.9m and the width varies from 54m to 38m. Due to solid and hard coral bed, the channel was not completed as planned to a width of 68.5m and a depth of 10m at low tide in order to target reasonable sized ships to enter the port for future developments.
The port entrance and leads are marked with stakes placed at approached channel entrances and 3 lead markets within the lagoon and in line with shore marker as part of the leads into the channel. The ample safe anchorage within the lagoon is 20m deep and the centre area of the harbor (400,000m2) has a depth of 15m to 17m.
Government Policy and SPA Drive:
The Government of Samoa (GoS) has a strong perception and vision that this requested project to improve the Port of Asau will provide expansion of cargo, research and naval, fuel tankers and fishing vessels an alternative port of call and base as well as cater for the residents and businesses on Savaii. The Savaii road transport is well-maintained and links both the Asau and Salelologa ports, facilitating the movement of export products, cargo and fuel around Savaii.
Advantages of Establishment and Development:
The wharf facility at Asau is a prime location with regards to the shipping industry in diversity and will lead to efficiency in the overall Samoan transportation sector as Asau is the first port of call for shipping lanes from South, West and North. Samoa is geographically located between two major fisheries processing industries: Fiji and American Samoa. The site and size of the harbor provide an ideal natural avenue for construction of other bigger developments and a fish processing plant. Samoa and especially Savaii offers identifiable advantages as a processor of tuna and other species loins
Asau is a preferred site for Cruise Vessels and other potential activities in trade, and so to concentrate its main activities commercially, and may develop to become an internationally financed facility able to compete at the same level as Fiji and American Samoa.Samoa Ports Authority is currently working on a Rehabilitating Project request, to assist Asau in opening up commercial opportunities for the world in the very near future.
The Samoa Ports Authority by virtue of its governing legislation has jurisdiction over the Port of Asau. This Port encloses approximately 5 ¼ acres and has a large potential to facilitate development of a fish processing and packing plant with a portion of this land to be leased to operators of the said plant at prescribed rates. Other lands can be negotiated to form leased property and can be utilized for the development of housing for expatriates, etc.
Despite the well-maintained roads linking Salelologa and Asau, as well as the viability of Asau with respect to trade/shipping routes, there is also the Maota Airstrip which is in the Asau vicinity which can accommodate for air transportation of cargo to the international airport at Faleolo for international distribution. The establishment of this company in Samoa, specifically in Asau would assist the GoS in decentralizing its functions to the outskirts, thereby injecting money into the economy through the Company’s provision of paid labour in a society which dominated and dependent by agri and aqua-culture.