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4250 PHAMA EOI Horticultural Packing House 8 January-2 February 2018

Horticultural Packing Facility

Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI):


A new multi-purpose pack-house facility for fresh and frozen horticultural produce will be constructed in the Vaini district of Tongatapu to service parts of the Eastern and Central Districts. The facility is needed for the increasing volume of exports and to assist exporters to shift from the informal to the formal sector and eventually to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certified exports.

The facility is to be owned under a public-private partnership and operated on a commercial basis by a separate management entity.

The ownership entity will have membership from Government (49%) and national and district level private sector representatives (51%). This entity will be formalised based on the membership of an existing Establishment Board. The Board was informally established in 2014 to guide the development of the proposed new facility and includes representatives of MAFFF, MCCTIL, Growers Export Network, Growers Federation and Hahake Council. It will then lease the facility to a separate management entity on a dry-lease arrangement.

The Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) program is providing support in the development of this concept including secretariat services to the Establishment Board.

Location and features of the facility

The pack-house facility is for processing of both fresh and frozen agricultural produce primarily for export. The facility will service the districts of Lapaha, Tatakamotonga, Vaini and part of the Central District. It is expected that the facility will be constructed in a phased or modular way starting with a single-purpose (e.g. root crop) with subsequent expansion to include fresh produce depending on reaching agreed levels of utilisation and profitability.

A preliminary design of the pack-house has been prepared and costed. The final plans will be developed following this EOI process with construction intended to commence when management, ownership arrangements have been formalised.

Process for EOI

The Establishment Board invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from individuals, community groups, existing business, consortia or other entities, based both in Tonga and within the region who are interested in operating and maintaining such a facility.

This EOI is in three steps as follows. 

Step 1 – Initial EOI Invitation and consultations: individuals, organisations or potential consortia express interest in being involved in management of the pack-house; series of public consultations on the proposed pack-house and process to select the management

Step 2 – Written EOI: Organisations, or consortia to demonstrates their capability in writing in a full proposal bid for the ongoing management of the pack-house

Step 3 – Request for Proposal (RFP): Those considered to have the necessary capacity to successfully operate and maintain the proposed new facility will then be invited to provide a detailed proposal for evaluation on a competitive basis, in consultation with PHAMA, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Government of Tonga and other key stakeholders.

For entities not based in Tonga the written EOI will need to outline existing or proposed collaboration and/or partnerships with Tongan stakeholders to support the successful management of the pack-house.

Women-owned or managed businesses are encouraged to apply and/or form part of consortia to apply.

Initial EOIs, queries or requests for participation in consultations can be made during office hours to Mr. Paula Mosa’ati. The consultations will be held in various locations in Tongatapu during 2-19 January 2018 with details to be announced.

All written EOIs should be received by email or hardcopy by 5pm, 2nd of February 2018.

Written EOIs should be clearly marked ‘EOI for Horticultural Packing Facility’ and addressed: Establishment Board, c/o Mr. Paula Mosa’ati,

Contact details for Mr Mosa’ati are:

PHAMA Office, 2nd floor, FWC Fasi-moe-afi, Nuku’alofa p [dot] mosaati [at] phama [dot] com [dot] au

+679 28 128 / +679 771 5200

Response Requirements for written EOI

EOIs will be no longer than 5 pages plus attachments.  They will need to demonstrate the following organisation(s)/individuals’ capabilities to continue to the RFP stage:

Part 1 – Organisational capacity

  1. Demonstrates capability of the bidder(s) to manage comparable facilities or businesses, for example provision of extension services, business planning and ongoing operations and maintenance, and/or social inclusion / climate change.
  2. financial capacity to be able to enter into an agreement for up front deposit of lease costs varying from 6 to 12 months

Part 2 – Capacity to develop full proposal

EOIs should also demonstrate the organisation(s) / individual’s capacity to develop the following during the RFP stage and provide an outline of the intended full proposal:

  1. Proposed business plan with a fully costed budget for the commercial operation of the facility
  2. Costed listing of equipment and other items that would be required to fit out the facility for its effective operation against the proposed business plan and design
  3. Brief view of how issues of social inclusion and equity of access could be identified and actioned across the operation, maintenance and business development of the facility (e.g. access to employment and other benefits of the facility’s operations; equity in access to the facility for all potential suppliers and exporters)

F.     Brief overview of how issues of climate resilience will be identified and actioned across the operation, maintenance and business development of the facility. actions (e.g. drought or other extreme weather events or trends; efficient use of water, electricity and other resources)

EOI documents must include details of any proposed consortia, including letters of intent, organisation(s) name, contact name and contact number with registered address.

Questions or Clarifications

Any questions or seeking of clarification must be communicated to the Secretariat of the Establishment Board, Mr. Paula Mosa’ati via email on p [dot] mosaati [at] phama [dot] com [dot] au or telephone 28128.

Please note that the Establishment Board is not obligated to respond to any questions or seeking of clarifications. Where it does provide any additional information this will be made available to all bidding parties and will become part of the record of the EOI process.

EOI assessment

EOIs will be assessed based on evidence of meeting the criteria. An assessment panel of private and public sector representatives will be formed with advice provided by independent experts and donor as needed.

Depending on the number and quality of the EOIs received, one or more bidders will be invited to prepare full proposals. If no adequate EOIs are received further consultations will be held including with those entities who submitted EOIs.

Notification to Bidders

It is expected that bidders will be notified of the outcome of the written EOI within 4 weeks of the closing date.


All written EOIs should be received by email or hardcopy by 5pm, 2nd of February 2018.