Civil Construction Moves to Site #1

WAH Fly Vanilla project Site1, SamagosFollowing completion of works at site 3 this month, the civil works team moved into site 1 alongside the Kiunga to Tabubil highway. Despite weather challenges, excavation has progressed extremely well.  One large, single tier is being excavated from the significantly sloping land (requires extensive cut and fill) at this site to accommodate the vanilla processing facility and all associated infrastructure.  Depending on the weather, civil works at this site are expected to be completed by early August.

Project materials are also expected to be delivered to site in the near future with 2 x 40 foot containers with all vanilla grow-out tunnels for site 2, and 2 x 40 foot containers with the large, single grow-out greenhouse for site 3 being shipped into Port Moresby this month.  All 4 containers are with customs for clearance and are expected to be delivered to OTML at Motukea for shipping to site by the end of July.

Fly Vanilla hosted the MRCMCAH Chair on the 02nd and the OTDF Board of Directors on the 03rd for a tour of the vanilla trial under rubber trees at Director Kaiyun’s block at kilometer 17, followed by the Samagos site nursery vanilla trials and civil works progress.  All were impressed with the progress and now have a better understanding of both community start-up blocks and the commercial scale of the Samagos Agro-Industrial Center.

Rice Project Capital Equipment Ordered

OTDF has been busy meeting a number of Incentive Fund and Australian DFAT requirements for the project, including the approval of a ‘Child Protection Policy’, formation of a Gender and Social Inclusion Committee, completion of an M&E framework, and writing up the first project quarterly narrative report. In conjunction with IAI all project capital equipment was agreed upon, priced, justified and consequently approved by the ‘Tender Committee’ for payment and procurement.  The project is particularly thankful for OTML’s agreement to cover the AUD and USD foreign exchange payments which are expected to be made in July.

These payments will enable completion of project scheduling and trial operating plans by the end of next month. The site project manager has arrived in country from Israel, following the mandatory Covid quarantine requirements he will undergo an orientation with IAI before being ready to travel to Kaviananga.  OTDF is preparing the Obo sub-field base for permanent occupation and works on-site are expected to begin by September.

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