Hall Contracting to build coastal protection system in the Marshalls

Jun 10, 2024 | Blog, Marshall Islands, News, Pacific

RMI seawall location

Location of the seawall in the Marshall Islands

Australian company Hall Contracting has announced plans to implement a 1.81 km coastal protection system in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Specialising in dredging, civil, and marine construction, Hall Contracting, a proud member of the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council (APIBC), will undertake this critical project on behalf of the RMI Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure and Utilities, starting in early 2025.

Located approximately halfway between Australia and Hawaii, the Marshall Islands is among the world’s smallest and most vulnerable nations to climate change. With most of its land less than two metres above sea level, the country is highly susceptible to rising sea levels and severe weather events. Cameron Hall, CEO and Director of Hall Contracting, highlighted the urgency of the project.

“With global sea levels projected to rise between 0.43m and 0.84m by 2100, the Marshall Islands face significant threats, including frequent coastal flooding, severe erosion, and potential permanent submergence of some areas,” Mr. Hall said. “The new seawall, to be constructed on the Ebeye atoll, will utilize approximately 65,000 tonnes of armour rock to minimize erosion and significantly reduce storm surge inundation.”

Hall Contracting has a track record of successful climate change adaptation projects, including the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project. This project involved constructing coastal protection works across three atolls in Tuvalu, providing new elevated land and safeguarding communities and infrastructure from wave overtopping events.

“We’re proud to help protect our Pacific Island neighbours from the impacts of climate change,” Mr. Hall said. “We look forward to starting our first project in the Marshall Islands.”

The project, funded by the World Bank and the Green Climate Fund, aims to enhance the island’s defences against climate change threats. Hall Contracting will mobilise to Ebeye in January 2025 to commence the coastal protection works.

The Marshall Islands and Tuvalu exemplify how low-lying island nations are on the front lines of climate change. Rising sea levels pose a severe threat to their existence, with projections indicating that significant portions could become uninhabitable by the end of the century. Proactive measures like coastal protection systems are crucial for their survival and resilience against environmental changes.

As the world grapples with the realities of climate change, such efforts are vital in ensuring the safety and sustainability of vulnerable communities in the Pacific region.