Designing ports for Easter Island

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Easter Island, located in the Pacific Ocean 3700km to the west of continental Chile, is dependent on shipping to supply goods for the local population and for its growing tourism industry.

The island, however, lacks a sheltered all-weather port. Ships that arrive to the island unload goods offshore onto smaller boats. These boats unload the goods at a small-scale dock in Hanga-Piko.  This system delays the delivery of goods to the island and increases transport costs.

GHD was contracted by the Chilean Public Works Department to carry out the pre-feasibility engineering studies to determine where to build an island port based on marine, environmental, land-use, cultural, social and economic considerations. GHD Chile’s Port Group led the project, supported by the Water team (modelling the wave conditions) and the Environmental team (assessing the environmental, social and cultural aspects of each port site).

GHD assessed the current and historic shipping situation and, with this information and projected future demands, estimated future shipping needs for the island.  Two locations were recommended, and for each location three different port solutions were presented with a final recommendation for a port site.

Impact Assessment & Permitting


GHD provides holistic, integrated solutions for managing impact assessment and approvals. Our environmental and community planners, engineers and scientists work with you to understand your needs from concept phase through to decommissioning.

From the start of a project, we consider environmental and social factors to help you minimise potential impacts of a project, reduce approvals timeframes and compliance costs and increase community engagement and acceptance.

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