PNG Ports Explains Their Decision to Deal with Covid-19
by PNG Business News - March 31, 2021
COVID-19 had a major impact on Papua New Guinea's exports and port movement, but the PNG Ports Corporation had taken political decisions to handle the situation.
In recent months, the world has seen and continues to see a significant shift in everyday lives, which has had significant implications for industry, commerce, and transportation.
The pandemic's emergence altered both economic and trade forecasts for 2020. New predictions have reduced forecasts to negative 4.9 per cent, down from an estimate of 3.6 per cent increase in container trade worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2.5 per cent in January 2020.
PNG Ports chairman Kepas Wali clarified that the company's earnings were the result of tight cost-cutting steps and prudent decisions taken by management.
Last year, he said, the closing of borders and prohibitions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic struck PNG Ports hard, which is dependent on trade.
Despite COVID-19, PNG Ports has continued to operate all of its ports.
“When COVID-19 hit the country and the world, the management of PNG Ports worked quickly and instituted certain protocols and prevention measures just so we can maintain our ports operations,” he said. “The management’s quick response to the situation has made it possible for all ports to operate during the hit by the pandemic through until now.”
He said the pandemic's consequences on the company were expensive, but PNG Ports is happy with the positive results obtained by their management's swift reaction and aims to continue this going forward.
PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
Australia To Provide Infrastructure for PNG
According to Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, Australia aims to provide high-quality infrastructure for PNG, generate employment, and upskill locals. His administration recently announced that it will invest K1.1 billion (US$300 million) to improve and repair all marine facilities owned and maintained by PNG Ports. In Port Moresby, Philp signed an agreement with State Enterprises Minister William Duma and PNG Ports chairman Kepas Wali, signalling Australia's commitment to the development of PNG's marine infrastructure sector. He stated that Australia was pleased to help PNG improve its marine infrastructure in order to enable commerce and boost national development. PNG's Prime Minister James Marape, who was also there, said the country has sought Australia for help in renewing and improving its ports. Duma praised Australia for prioritizing local jobs and business engagement in whatever project it supports. “The foundations of most of our ports were built during the colonial and Pacific War era by the Australians, and it is appropriate that we now come together to jointly collaborate to plan for the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure,” he said. The 30-year ports infrastructure master plan, Philp said, presented a "great opportunity and platform" for Australia to assist PNG's infrastructure development goals. Wali praised the board and management of PNG Ports for their dedication and assistance in ensuring that any work sponsored by Australia will be done in a transparent and high-quality way. He was pleased that PNG Ports had the chance to prepare a financing proposal for projects that will modernize the country's ports and benefit the people. Reference: Kero, Gynnie. The National (25 June 2021). “K1bil for ports upgrade”.
PNG Business News - August 09, 2021
PNG Ports Corp Redevelopment Expected to Cost K1.1 Billion
PNG Ports Corporation is redeveloping and investing in its ports in the future as part of its 30-year master plan. Rodney Begley, the chief operating officer of the PNG Ports Corporation, said the company completed a 30-year master plan 18 months ago that included evaluations of every port in the country. “We did an economical assessment, environmental assessments, and constructional assessments. “This is a general everyday roster on the master plan. This document now manifests PNG Ports as we look forward to the next 30 years. “We are working with the Australian government in port redevelopment and investments.” He stated that ports in Daru, Kimbe, Madang, Kavieng, Lae Tidal Basin, Rabaul, Vanimo, and Lorengau are being considered for redevelopment. Over the next five years, this will spend K1.1 billion ($AU400) in reconstruction across the country. “Over the last 12 months, I’ve come to recognize the importance of the Highlands region as the food basket of the country. “We at PNG Ports have visions to develop three inland trade hubs to support the Highlands. “This idea is that we replicate a traditional ocean seaport and we place it at the base of the Highlands in Goroka and maybe in Mt Hagen,” said Mr. Begley. He explained that the goal is to make it easier for people to transport fruits and vegetables, as well as other items, up and down the highway by utilizing these three stations. “That’s a visionary idea and something that they are talking to the government about. “This is the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility (AIFFP) funding of the Pacific. “In November last year, I wrote to the Australian government and they granted us K26m, and this year in January I wrote to Australian government and we are now in negotiations to secure and finalize $AU400 or K1.1 billion.” PNG Ports will invest money through a mixed financial package, with 80 percent being soft loans and 20 percent being grants, according to Begley. “All of this is underpinned by the PNG Ports 30-year master plan. Those eight ports will be the fundamental focus of this spending,” he added. Reference: Post-Courier (2 August 2021). “Ports Redevelopment, Investments To Cost K1.1 Billion”.
PNG Business News - October 25, 2021
Performance of Ports Improving
According to PNG Ports Corporation Ltd, the country's two international marine ports have developed considerably in the last four years. According to statistics released last month, cargo volumes increased by 204,518 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) this year, while vessel turnaround time decreased by approximately 50%. PNG Ports owns the Lae and Motukea terminals in Port Moresby, which are managed and operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc (Ictsi) South Pacific, a worldwide terminal operator. The Ictsi Group and PNG Ports inked a 25-year terminal management deal in September 2017 to operate the two ports. The South Pacific International Container Terminal (Spict) operates out of Lae, while the Motukea International Terminal (MIT) operates out of Motukea. Last month, the Ictsi said that the two ports had outperformed expectations, with vessel turnaround times and berth waiting periods decreased and cargo volumes increased. In Lae, the average time spent waiting for a vessel has reduced from 45 hours in 2015 to 30 hours this year. It was 37 hours ago and 15 hours ago in Motukea. Cargo volumes have increased dramatically this year, with a total TEU of 204,518 compared to 195,348 in 2015. In comparison to the conventional days of manually billing clients just four years ago, electronic data exchange and reporting, including invoicing and payments, are also carried out electronically and in real-time. Fego Kiniafa, managing director of PNG Ports, praised the improved performance. “Bigger ships are coming in with the modernisation and rehabilitation of the ports and PNG Ports is happy to continue working with Ictsi on this,” Kiniafa said. PNG Ports also have ports in the following areas: Oro Bay, Kimbe, Kieta and Buka in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Daru, Alotau, Rabaul, Lorengau, Kavieng, Altape Wewak, Vanimo, and Madang. Reference: The National (20 October 2021). “Sea ports’ performances improved in past 4 years: Firm”.
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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022
Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.