PACIFIC Towing is helping Queensland’s Pacific Marine Group upgrade a port in Papua New Guinea as part of an infrastructure program funded by the PNG and Australian governments.

PNG marine services company PacTow sent its commercial divers to a port facility in Manus where Pacific Marine Group is upgrading and extending marine infrastructure.

The divers were tasked with clearing debris, removing old anode straps and installing new anode straps.

They are working on the project in several different stages, returning to site when required until its estimated completion in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The dive team arrived at the Manus facility in May, following their work on a similar port project in Milne Bay, where Pacific Marine Group upgraded the Alotau provincial wharf.

“The … recent Alotau provincial wharf project involved the demolition of an existing jetty, followed by the installation of a new jetty made from tubular steel piles and a concrete deck,” PacTow said.

“A new floating concrete pontoon, together with an access walkway from the jetty and associated site buildings were also delivered as part of the project.

“PacTow’s commercial dive team’s involvement in the Alotau project included a seabed survey, debris clearance, underwater cutting of broken steel piles, gridline mark outs, and the application of pile jackets on all new piles.”

PacTow said its divers worked on the Alotau project for around five weeks split over a seven-month period between October 2022 and May 2023.

PacTow commercial dive manager Ricky Leka said the project went well, although it was called off at one point for three days due to rough seas and winds of between 25 and 30 knots.

Pacific Marine Group completed the Alotau wharf project in early June 2023. The wharf officially opened on 18 July.

PacTow general manager Neil Papenfus said PacTow and Pacific Marine group began working together in 2017, with a 900-metre ocean outfall pipeline project in Port Moresby’s Fairfax Harbour.

Pacific Marine Group has bases in Townsville, Cairns and Mackay.