Australia To Provide Infrastructure for PNG
by PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
Photo Credit: emtv.com.pg
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.
Kero, Gynnie. The National (25 June 2021). “K1bil for ports upgrade”.
PNG Business News - March 31, 2021
PNG Ports Explains Their Decision to Deal with Covid-19
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 - 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”.
PNG Business News - February 05, 2023
PNG Tourism Promotions Authority (TPA) and Bougainville TPA signs MOU
The Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry reached another milestone recently when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Tourism and Promotions Authority (TPA). The MOU paves the way forward for both parties to continue bilateral partnership based on the understanding of tourism and promotions in Bougainville. The MOU was signed by the PNG TPA and the ABG Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry on the understanding relating to a joint partnership for the protection and preservation of tangible and intangible culture, development and promotion of tourism, contemporary culture and the arts and sustainable tourism in the autonomous region of Bougainville. ABG Vice President and Minister for Commerce Trade and Industry, Hon. Patrick Nisira (MHR) acknowledged the PNGTPA for its tremendous support so far since the first MoU was signed in 2016. The support has cemented many agreements already signed and has proven that Bougainville is truly a tourism destination that is worth investing time and money on. Mr. Nisira acknowledged the PNG TPA officers for their continuous negotiation with the Bougainville partners in pushing for significant income generating programmes to proceed in the region. “Standing here today it gives me great pleasure to witness and participate in this significant event that will go down in history books of this nation to be. We are here today to mark this important event on the signing of the MOU between my ministry and the department of national government and PNG Tourism Promotions Authority (PNG TPA).” This agreement adds value to our collective vision, ideas and consultations that the local tourism and cultural practitioners in both government and private sectors, he said. “As a way forward the agreement presents a realistic and workable approach to tourism development and its sustainability in the region.” “The MOU also sets out a framework for future development for tourism emphasizing on effective and determined and holistic approaches.” He said that the agreement generally outlines the pros and cons of tourism development in Bougainville and the framework and strategy of reaching the targeted goals and vision earmarked to reaching the overarching goals of economic building and development. Deputy Chief Secretary for Operations Anthony Koiri approved and signed the MOU on behalf of the Bougainville Public Service Chief Secretary who is on sick leave at the moment. The signing was witnessed by the staff of the PNG Tourism Promotions Authority (PNGTPA), Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry, senior officers and a small crowd at the Bel Isi park.
PNG Business News - February 05, 2023
PNGEITI POSITION ON PORGERA MINE LEGACY TAX ISSUES
The PNGEITI Head of Secretariat Mr. Lucas Alkan says all parties to the Pogera Mine must adhere to rules governing the extractive industry, particularly when dealing with fiscal matters that must be administered and observed according to law. His comments follow a news article on The National citing the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) that unmet tax obligations of the Pogera mine stood in the way to expedite the mine re-opening process. Mr. Alkan says a workable and timely strategy that does not impinge on basic laws is a way forward. Below is the full comment on this issue. “The Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) commends The National newspaper for attempting to bring to light what appears to be the final outstanding issue (among others) in the Porgera Mine recommencement negotiations (more on this in footnote). We’ve noted from the reporting that taxation matters are legacy issues that appear to be standing in the way for the multi-million-kina Porgera Gold Mine to re-open. We have observed that the Government was on track to conclude negotiations and re-open the Mine by June last year, however this did not eventuate as anticipated. Attempts to reopening the Mine in the second half of last year was not feasible due to the national general elections and the formation of government. It appeared that all negotiations were concluded and a new Porgera Mining Agreement Framework was in place for the Mine to be re-opened in the first quarter of this year. Surprisingly, we learn that an old Porgera Tax liability dispute is standing in the way for the Mine to be re-opened. The early recommencement of the Mine, preferably within the first quarter of this year is critical for the country as the lead time required for mobilizing resources and the significant start-up capital needed to get the mine back into its full operating capacity would be a significant challenge. On this, we are aware there are also discussions going on with the developer and the government as to who is going to meet the startup cost but we understand Barrick Niugini Limited might meet the full cost of starting up the Mine and government would refund later but unsure as to whether this understanding has been reached or not yet. With regards to the current standoff, the EITI based on its global best practice principles is of the view that the existing law governing taxation matters must dictate or take precedence over any political intervention. We do not know the specifics of the on-going tax matter but understand that it is related to a tax dispute concerning the ‘old Porgera Mine’. If it is a significant amount of tax owed by Barrick to the Government based IRC’s audit in 2013 then it is a legal tax obligation that Barrick and its joint venture partners need to settle as required by law. We fail to understand as to why the old Porgera tax obligation/liability clause was inserted into the new Porgera Mining Framework Agreement making it a condition to resolve this legacy tax issue before reopening the Mine. If whatever was reported and commented by PM Marape recently is true then Barrick Niugini Limited and the State need to speed up the negotiation process and resolve this dispute immediately. Both parties should exercise good faith – Barrick Niugini Limited should not pull strings on this old Porgera tax liability matter and delay the re-opening of the Mine. It is understood the State (IRC) may not easily forego if there is a substantial amount of tax liability to be paid by the operator. Whatever the parties decide to do, they should resolve the tax liability issue through the due process of law but allow the Mine to re-open immediately under the New Porgera Framework Agreement. Political intervention is not recommended to resolve this dispute as this can undermine investor confidence, set bad precedence for the Government and create an uneven playing field for project developers. Barrack Niugini Limited should not put undue pressure on the State to resolve this matter politically in order to re-open the mine as it is not a best business practice. All stakeholders and the citizens have the right to know the specific issues or the nature of this tax liability issue between Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) as the continued delay in re-opening the Mine continues to have negative consequences on the economy. The prolonged delay has not only resulted in significant revenue loss to the Government (including the provincial and local level governments in the impacted resource area) but also loss of employment, business opportunities and spin-off benefits to the landowners and the wider communities. The shutting down of the Mine 3 years ago has had significant negative consequences on the economy including the current foreign exchange shortage that has constrained business operations in the other sectors of the economy. Porgera Mine had been a good source of foreign exchange inflows and its continued shutdown will definitely not going to contribute to the 4% economic growth (that was largely to be driven by the extractive sector) projected for by the World Bank for last year and the real GDP growth of 4% projected for this year in the 2023 National Budget. PNGEITI commends the transparent negotiation process to date that took substantial amount of time and effort to ensure the interests of all parties were reflected in those agreements. We encourage all parties to continue to respect and observe the laws of the land in this dispute resolution process to address the tax liability issue. We believe that a win-win situation for both parties (Government and Barrick) is to re-open the mine first and work together to resolve the outstanding tax liability dispute later going forward.
PNG Business News - February 02, 2023
Weir Minerals releases the 6th edition of the Warman® Slurry Pumping Handbook, the definitive resource for slurry pumps
Photo: The Warman Slurry Pumping Handbook is the definitive guide for most slurry pumping applications. Weir Minerals, manufacturer of the industry-leading Warman® slurry pump, has released the latest edition of their coveted Warman® Slurry Pumping Handbook. The 6th edition, compiled by the most trusted name in slurry pumps, features detailed engineering data required for most slurry pumping applications. Drawing on decades of Weir Minerals’ inhouse expertise in innovative engineering and slurry pumping technology, the new handbook has updated reference material based on new learnings, improved understanding and technological developments within the mining industry. With customers always in mind, the handbook aims to empower engineers to achieve optimal performance from their Warman® slurry pumps. An increased global focus on the environment, energy consumption and water conservation will influence slurry pump design and considerations – making this latest handbook an essential tool for all current and future pump engineers. “Pumping slurry has many challenges and I’m excited to publish our latest handbook, packed with fundamental theory, application advice, standard practices and latest Warman learnings from the field; all aimed to help our customers, present and future, deliver with excellence.” Marcus Lane, Director, Slurry Pumping Technology Group Weir Minerals are continually striving to shape the next generation of smart, efficient and sustainable solutions with cutting-edge science and innovation. The comprehensive handbook includes over 140 pages of detailed information, including performance charts, impeller design, part configuration, assembly and slurry considerations – fully supported by accurate technical renders and specifications. “The high quality of the reference material in this essential resource reflects the leading status of the Warman slurry pumps. As the industry leader, we have a responsibility to develop our future engineers; we will make the latest version of the Warman Slurry Pumping Handbook available not only to our customers, but also to the leading schools worldwide, so they can learn from the best in the industry.” John McNulty, Vice President Global Engineering & Technology. As part of Weir Minerals’ commitment to investing in STEM education and developing the next generation of engineers, copies of this essential resource will be gifted to the leading mining and engineering educational facilities around the world, including the winner of the 2022 Warman Design & Build competition, Deakin University in Australia.