Cruise, trade, boating, fishing and ship repair activities: the port of Papeete is really versatile. It is at once the principal port of International Business of French Polynesia, the centre of inter-island trades for conveyance of goods and transport of passengers, a fishing port which have specific equipment, a home port and a port of call for cruise ships, and finally a port of boating and luxury yachting. All Port activities are made on a limited area.
A multi-traffic Port in a new centery
The port of Papeete is located in French Polynesia in the island of Tahiti (South Pacific). French Polynesia is made up of more than 130 islands divided into five archipelagos spread over a surface area of more than 5 million km², comparable to the Europe one. The geographical situation of the port is between 5° and 25° latitudes South, and 135° and 145° longitudes West, to 6.500 km to South South West of American coasts and to 5.400 km at extreme East of Australia.
The Port Authority of Papeete has property assets and exceptional maritime assets of 760 hectares total area. Principal port installations are located around the Papeete harbour, communicating with ocean thanks to a channel of 110 m wide and 12 meter deep (acceptable draught: 11 meters). The whole maritime domain managed by the Port Authority extends from the Taapuna channel to the Iriti headland in Pirae, which represents a surface area of 680 hectares. The terrestrial part of the domain extends on 80 hectares, resulting for the most part of embankments progressively built around the small island of Motu Uta since creation of the establishment in 1962.
Unlike metropolitan ports, often very specialised, the port of Papeete manages all types of traffics. We can compare passengers traffic to the port Bastia one (Corsica), the overall volume of goods is equivalent to the one of Nouméa (not nickel exports) and the entire port activity to the one of the port La Rochelle. Besides, the port area is a dynamical industrial and commercial complex, in which more than 250 businesses representing principal business sectors of Polynesian economy are present.
Since 2000, the Port Authority of Papeete invested more than 12 billion CFP francs, that is to say 100,5 million, euros in construction of port infrastructures. The aim was to improve conditions for International Business and inter-island trade, but also to improve welcoming of cruise ships as well as fishing and yachting activities. These large-scale works have been predominantly self-financed each year.
These modern installations in permanent progress add to dynamism in the economy of French Polynesia. Port installations are classified into two categories: – Those resulting from embankments of coral areas like Motu Uta, the Cabotage wharf and the Hydrocarbons zone at East of the reef. These installations are linked to the dry land by the Fare Ute bridge of 100 m length ; – Installations on the dry land, namely the Cruise ships wharf with its two berths, the Ferry wharf or the Moorea wharf, the marina of Papeete on the side of the Yacht wharf and finally the Fishing wharf located in the North of Fare Ute/Papeava.