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Hall Contracting Celebrates Ten Years Of Operation

An icon of the dredging business in Fiji, Hall Pacific, is celebrating ten years of operation in the country. Hall is a very large civil engineering company with extensive operations
14 Jan 2017 11:00
Hall Contracting Celebrates Ten Years Of Operation

An icon of the dredging business in Fiji, Hall Pacific, is celebrating ten years of operation in the country.

Hall is a very large civil engineering company with extensive operations in several Australian states.

This is including road construction, earthworks and clearing and levelling operations, drainage and stabilisation works.

In Australia, civil engineering accounts for around 65 percent of their activities, with dredging filling the other thirty-five percent.

Over many years working along the Australian East Coast Halls developed a significant skill in dredging and it was this area of their business they chose to use as their foundation in Fiji.

In the time they have been working in Fiji they have worked with the Fiji government and a number of local communities on projects designed to reduce the impact of river flooding and enhanced the lives of the local people.

In another area, they have undertaken contracts across the country to improve tourism infrastructure, mainly in beach reclamation and erosion protection, including the designing and building of groins and have built a number of wharfs and jetties to make resort access easier.

Brian Hall, the company Founder and the managing director and still actively involved, says “Since delivering our first river dredging contract in Fiji in 2006.

“We have gone on to successfully carry out a range of flood mitigation and land reclamation works around Fiji, as well as dredging a number of shipping channels and berths”.

Hall has a large land based headquarters and workshop facility at Port Fantasy in Nadi.

This provides adjacent berthing for most of their vessels and is strategically situated in the heart of the Fiji tourism area.

They provide employment for over twenty Fijians who are working on their projects.

Brian Hall says, “We pride ourselves on working closely with local communities and providing employment opportunities, having trained numerous locals over the years as dredge operators, engineers and deck hands.

In fact, our latest project in Tuvalu was driven by a Fijian crew, as well as two expatriates who preside permanently in Fiji”.

One of these, the well named “Swampy” has become a local icon around the waterways of Nadi.

In recent years, the company has dredged excess sediment from the lower reaches of the Nadi River to reduce the risk of flooding posed by cyclones and tropical rains in the wet season.

It also carried out deepening and extension of the Port Denarau Marina shipping channel to allow larger cruise vessels to service the popular tourist hub.

In the last three years Hall has also carried out extensive dredging operations to help create the new and very large Port Fantasy Harbor and Marina areas, as well as all the canals servicing residential lots.

Hall also completed flood mitigation work in Ba, which will assist in saving lives and reducing damage to infrastructure and agricultural crops caused by the heavy wet season rains.

Just recently Hall worked on the repairs and extension of the Nabouwalu Jetty which provides a critical transportation link between Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

Hall’s marine capabilities allowed them to isolate the jetty and install a steel deck over the existing ramp to prevent failure of the underlying concrete structure.

They also dredged the sea bed in the area to provide sufficient depth for shipping movements across all tides.

Brian Hall reiterated that the company remains committed to continuing to engage with Fijian communities and to further expand its presence in the Pacific area.

He said: “With many Pacific Island nations facing the serious threat of coastal erosion and flooding as a result of climate change, we have recently begun working with island nations such as Tuvalu.

“This is to ensure that their communities are resilient against these issues and will continue to do so in the future”.

“We have an office in Fiji, which is our headquarters for the Pacific, where we have a range of dredges, and support equipment such as excavators, dozers and trucks.

“This allows us to mobilise our team promptly and tackle climate change projects without delays and high costs.”

One major project that was undertaken by Hall was a climate change related operation in Funafuti.

This is a huge new waterfront recreation area, which will enable the atoll’s four thousand plus residents to enjoy a range of leisure activities and beach sports.

Named the Queen Elizabeth 11 Park, the area was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga.

Funafuti has more than half of Tuvalu’s population and as Funifuti is just six hundred acres in size, usable land space is a valuable commodity for residents.

The atoll’s foreshore areas tend to be quite rocky, so these works have created a unique open space along the waterfront where the community can gather.

The beachfront recreation area is over forty thousand square metres in size and beach nourishment works were also carried out in a fifty-five thousand square metre stretch of the foreshore.

A total of over a hundred and fifteen thousand cubic metres of sand was dredged from the nearby lagoon and pumped to a reclamation area on the coastline.

Two strategically placed groins built out of two and a half cubic metre sand containers were constructed to retain the sand.

This made the area not only more appealing to the public but also assisting in combating coastal erosion.

The work employed over twenty workers and three quarters of these were Tuvaluans employed and trained by Hall.

They were trained in the operation of trucks, loaders, and work boats as part of the five month project and are now a valuable part of the Tuvalu workforce.

Hall undertook other work in Tuvalu.

This is including the repair of storm breaches and filling of “borrow pits” on Funafuti.

As well as construction of a sea wall on the Nukufetau Atoll which will assist in protecting locals from the effects of climate change.

This work was part of the company’s specialist services in climate change adaption and resilience including land reclamation, flood mitigation dredging and infrastructure delivery.

Given the outlook for the future, the future for Hall in Fiji looks promising for the company.
John Ross is a Nadi-based marketing and advertising specialist with a long background in tourism. For feedback on this article, please email him: johnrossfiji@gmail.com

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