Preparations in Tonga have begun for the start of a multi-million dollar upgrade and extension of Nuku'alofa's domestic wharf, funded by the Japanese government.
Matangi Tonga reports the site work is to start next month for the project expected to be completed by 2018.
TOA Corporation, the Japanese construction group, which won the tender to carry out the work, arrived in Tonga and fenced off the area along the Vuna Road waterfront.
Funded with an estimated 25 million US dollars through Japan's International Cooperation Agency, the project will extend the wharf and build a terminal building to house passengers and cargo.
The General Manager of the Ports Authority Mosese Lavemai said the contractor's equipment was expected to arrive in Nuku'alofa in April.
When the actual site work begins it will include the dredging of the reef area which will take some time.
A groundbreaking ceremony is planned to be held before the end of this month.