PM: SMEs Have Huge Role to Play
by PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
Photo Credit: Post Courier
Small and medium businesses (SMEs) have a significant role in economic growth, according to Prime Minister Hon. James Marape.
When addressing the 3rd SME Business Breakfast on Friday (June 25, 2021) to commemorate the end of SME Week, he also praised local SMEs for hosting PNG SME Week at APEC Haus in Port Moresby from June 21 to 25.
“Thank you (SMEs) for what you have been doing this week,” PM Marape said. “Many nations globally are built on SMEs.”
He used the example of neighbouring Indonesia, which has over 50 million SMEs, which he described as the economy's "engine room."
PM Marape also mentioned New Zealand, which he visited last year and described as a country around the same size as PNG but with an economy based on SMEs.
“New Zealand is a country almost the same land size as ours,” he said.
“Their economy is really dependent on SMEs that are based around agriculture, tourism and cottage industries.
“This is a place that we could source inspiration from.
“Based on those small-scale, SME-based industries, they have a US$200 billion economy that keeps them running.”
PM Marape stated that New Zealand's economy is built on agriculture, cattle, dairy, and marine resources, rather than large-scale mining, oil, and gas operations.
“I believe in the propensity of our country to expand to an economy that is beyond US$200 million sizes, if not in the next 10 years, easily in the next 20 years we could get there,” he said.
“That is simply because of the resource density we have in our country.”
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” PM Marape remarked as the country went through difficult times.
“Those who will be in the mainstream are those who want to capture opportunities that are available for them,” he said.
“I speak to our local SMEs: There are opportunities available.”
PM Marape stated that individuals working in the SME sector should know that “our Government is pro-business, pro-SME”.
“We want to help Papua New Guineans and those that are resident in Papua New Guinea to get going in business,” he said.
“We embrace businesses of all types because we are cognizant of the fact that success of business allows the economy of a country to be strong.”
The Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (26 June 2021). “PM Marape highlights important role of SMEs”.
PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
PM Marape urges SMEs to venture into agriculture
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has pointed Papua New Guinea small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to agriculture as a space that they can move into. He said this when addressing the 3rd SME Business Breakfast at APEC Haus in Port Moresby on Friday (June 5th 2021) which also marked the end of SME Week. PM Marape said agriculture could supply domestic needs as well as export to other countries. He said PNG was the closest Pacific country to Asia, including Indonesia right next door, which had a population of 260 million. PM Marape said the majority of Indonesians were Muslims who ate beef. “I wonder why the grasslands of Sepik and Fly are doing nothing,” he said. “Those are places where we can raise beef (cattle) and supply to the 260 million Muslims next door.” PM Marape said the next 100 years would be the “Asian century” as the increasing population there needed more food, water and energy. He said PNG could follow the track of New Zealand in becoming a specialist food producer to supply the population of Asia. PM Marape pointed out the case of Fiji water, which was now sold around the world, and added PNG could do similar through organic food. “Organic food supply to niche markets in Asia can be a forte, can be a specialist area, going into the future,” he said. “Government will look at those concepts and work with the SME Corporation, for those who want to be innovative in the space of SMEs, whether in export-based businesses or domestic supply.”
PNG Business News - July 08, 2021
PM Marape calls on Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open ‘Economic Bubble’ with Pacific Island Nations
As part of their involvement in the battle against COVID-19, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has called on Japan, Australia, and New Zealand to open up an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries. During the 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM), which was held online, the Prime Minister made this request. COVID-19, he added, was not just a health issue but also an economic issue in the Pacific Islands at this point. “In Papua New Guinea we recognize that COVID-19 has had a strong negative impact on our economy,” Prime Minister Marape said. “Speaking on behalf of my 14 other sister nations in the Pacific, especially those who are dependent on tourism or external trade, dependent on fisheries, agriculture and the export of our raw resources, who are totally exposed to the ravages and the damage COVID-19 is causing to our local economies, so we need international trading and commerce for our economies to function. “Papua New Guinea, having recognized the need for our economy to be functional, has elevated our COVID-19 response by way of the passing of a specific Act of Parliament called the National Pandemic Act that defines how we live, work, operate and trade. “We have not closed our borders and we are still open for business to ensure our 10 million people survive COVID-19. “At this juncture, let me thank Japan for your continued interventions and interest in our small Pacific Island nations. They are totally vulnerable and exposed to the contraction of the global economy and the close of international borders. “Therefore I ask for your continued presence in helping us, not just in the area of health but more importantly, on how we can ensure trade and economy remains functional and relevant.” Prime Minister Marape has urged Japan, Australia, and New Zealand to assist Pacific Island nations in keeping their economies afloat by functioning in a special trade and economic bubble that will allow our economy to weather the storm. The Prime Minister also praised Japan's Prime Minister, Hon Yoshihide Suga, for his assistance to the area, as well as Australia, and New Zealand. Reference: Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (2 July 2021). “PM Marape calls on Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open ‘Economic Bubble’ with P
PNG Business News - July 08, 2021
Marape: Promote Low Cost Fuel and Energy Supply
The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape MP said the government is looking for a partner or investor, such as Puma Energy, to assist it to achieve its goal of creating a low-cost fuel and energy industry in the country. He also urged Puma Energy to stay in PNG's local petroleum and energy sector and invest more. PM Marape made the remarks at Puma Energy's Napanapa oil refinery west of Port Moresby, to commemorate 14 million man-hours of incident-free operations at Puma Energy's locations around the nation over the previous seven (7) years. “I am happy to be here today to witness and celebrate this world-class safety milestone achieved by Puma Energy PNG staff and its contractor staff. “On your milestone achievement of 14 million man-hours without any lost time in the incident, think big and think positive, expand and promote the fuel and energy needed for our domestic customers,’’ he said. “Let me thank Puma Energy and those of you who have been working diligently in the last two years when we were stressed through the COVID-19 pandemic. “You remained at work and delivered to our country through your contractors, and the subsidiaries that work off the main Puma Company and I think the network of companies who feed off Puma Energy has been the beneficiary of the standard of safety and you have conducted yourself and you deserve special commendations. “Going forward I would like to encourage Puma Energy in our country to also step out of where you are today. You are at a site in our country where it’s the first in as far as oil and gas business is concerned the first refinery in our country. “You have acquired these assets and you have a feel of what it is all about and as a Government, my major focus going into the future and something that is critically important and to anchor our economy is the lower cost of power and lower cost of fuel in our country. “We are looking for business partners who could assist us in filling this gap by finding solutions to lower the cost of fuel and lower the cost of power. And so I would like to take this opportunity to sound it out to people and Puma Energy, you are already here with us,’’ said PM Marape. He stated that Puma Energy may collaborate with the government and others in the sector in a variety of ways. “As a Government, we are on the search for partners who could assist us in lowering the cost of energy, more so fuel of all kinds whether its jet fuel, fuel for ships, fuel for cars and the costs of fuel, energy and power must come down in our country. “There is no secret and that is the intention of my Government. That is why I am strongly advocating for a specific portion of our domestic market of gas and for us to ensure that domestic market gas is secured in new gas fields we sign up and or translate that to companies that are already in the energy space into cheaper energy and fuel. “So at this juncture without imposing upon you Puma Energy being the major importer and processor of fuel in our country space is there for you and we look forward to partners who can be serious players in downstream fuel processing in the country,’’ he said. PM Marape said that PNG produces oil and gas in the country and yet we have expensive fuel that is based out of Singapore pricing when we may be able to look for our own pricing. “So Puma Energy that is something you can work in your board room and see whether you could be a partner of choice for us going forward. “Whilst you do not have upstream gas and petroleum areas, you are already in the downstream area so how can you partner the Government and Government bodies like Kumul Petroleum, who are agents for seeking petroleum gas deals, you can fit in that gap as you have a refinery facility here and how you can utilize the gas and oil extracted locally here. “I am encouraging you not to sell out and remain in our country going forward where some of our 10 million people will be needing fuel and energy and we need competition and a robust competition is good for our customers. “I look forward to Puma Energy continuing to serve our country and clocking another safety man-hours. “Congratulations to Puma Energy, your management, and individual workers for contributing to this milestone safety record,’’ said PM Marape. Reference: Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (1 July 2021). “PM Marape Encourages Puma To Promote Low Cost Fuel And Energy Supply”.
PNG Business News - September 16, 2021
Engaging the global crowd to design the electric mine of the future
Today, the Electric Mine Consortium (EMC) launched the ‘Electric Mine Simulation’ crowd challenge in partnership with the OZ Minerals Think & Act Differently ideas incubator and Unearthed. OZ Minerals, IGO, South 32, Blackstone Minerals, Evolution Mining, Barminco and Goldfields have committed to significantly reducing their carbon footprint. These seven mining companies along with a number of partner companies, have come together to form the Electric Mine Consortium, a collaborative group seeking to accelerate progress towards a fully electrified zero carbon and zero particulates mine. Electrification of mine sites is a critical step change needed for the mining industry to achieve a zero carbon future. Switching to electric and renewable energy represents a transformational shift that will change the way mines are designed. This challenge is about using simulation to understand the impacts of electrification on mine design and through this challenge the EMC is looking to find innovators that can help do this. The eight-week online challenge invites companies and individuals from around the world to propose an approach to designing an open architecture, mine design simulation platform that can initially be used to compare a fully electric underground mine with its traditional diesel powered equivalent. Brett Triffett, Transformation Technologist, from OZ Minerals explained, “there is a great opportunity to use whole-of-mine simulations that integrate all of the dependent systems so we can understand the holistic value in transitioning from diesel to electric solutions in underground mines. We would like to be able to quickly build and test different mine designs and compare things like productivity, costs, emissions and energy requirements. We think that eventually this capability could be expanded to include the entire mining value chain. We have invited the crowd to propose solutions because we are not currently aware of a platform that meets this brief. What we have learned from running previous crowd challenges is that there are often people from outside our industry who have ideas or technology that can be applied to mining. These people are often unknown to us and in many cases they are unfamiliar with our industry. By participating in a crowd challenge, innovators can access a new market and be supported in developing new products and business models.”. A selected cohort from from this challenge will join the Think & Act Differently incubator and be supported in developing a demonstration of their solution. The incubator program is a supportive environment that includes; funding, mentoring, opportunities for collaboration, capability uplift and exposure to mining data and mining operations from across the EMC members.
PNG Business News - September 15, 2021
Weir Minerals strengthens its partnership with international technology group, Andritz
Weir Minerals and Andritz have signed an agreement at MINExpo 2021 expanding their shared commitment and strategic cooperation to supply equipment for processing tailings in the mining industry. The foundations of this agreement have been built on a shared understanding and vision to enable the sustainable and efficient delivery of the natural resources essential to create a better future for the world. Since 2018, Weir Minerals’ and Andritz’s partnership has seen them collaborate on joint tailings projects. This shared history as partners – a collaboration made stronger by the quality of individuals on both teams – has reinforced their abiding belief that together, both Weir Minerals and Andritz are stronger. This shared success has led both Weir Minerals and Andritz to renew their on-going commitment and announce they’ll be expanding their offer to all regions around the globe. Utilising Andritz’s proven separation and dewatering technologies, Weir Minerals has strengthened its whole-of-mine capabilities, showcasing market-leading products from extraction to comminution, mill circuit and tailings management. ‘Weir Minerals has been providing tailings solutions for decades; we have dedicated research facilities – the Weir Technical Centre in Melbourne, Australia and the Sustainable Mining Centre in Venlo, Netherlands – that are challenging conventional ways of thinking about tailings, while also developing practical, innovative and sustainable solutions that will reduce operating costs and improve safety,’ Ricardo Garib, Weir Minerals Division President said. ‘Decreasing ore grades mean that mines are producing more tailings than ever before. One of the challenges with tailings management is that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach; each mine requires a tailored solution that carefully considers the minerals being processed, as well as the site’s climatic and geological conditions. Weir Minerals prides itself on having both the expertise and equipment that allows us to partner with miners everywhere to plan and implement tailings solutions based on their operations’ unique challenges and this agreement with Andritz enhances those capabilities,’ he said. ‘Andritz has a long history working across a range of different industries. We are very proud of the work we’ve done with Weir Minerals; together, we’re excited about continuing to provide a joint offering of sustainable and value-added tailings solutions. Both companies bring a different expertise and know-how to the partnership; we complement one another and ultimately it’s our customers who’ll benefit,’ Steve Huff, President Andritz Separation said. Tailings management forms an important element of Weir Minerals’ broader integrated solutions approach, which considers problems and challenges from all perspective and draws on a range of experts – process engineers, design engineers, product experts and materials scientists, among others – to identify potential challenges and opportunities and provide tailored solutions. ‘This latest agreement enhances our overall tailings offering and enables us to provide our customers with a complete tailings solution. Under the brand name IsoDry, we will continue to offer customers a range of mechanical separation technologies, such as thickeners, filter presses, centrifuges, and vacuum belt filters,’ Charlie Stone, Weir Minerals VP Sales and Business Development-Mill Circuit said. Weir Minerals has strengthened its tailings team to support the market and ensure that it can provide innovative solutions based on each customer’s specific requirements. The agreement provides the opportunity for potential future collaboration on technology, harnessing Andritz’s market-leading separation technology in conjunction with Weir Minerals’ minerals and tailings processing technology. Many of these products – Warman® pumps to transport fluid tailings, GEHO® pumps to handle paste, Cavex® hydrocyclones to dewater tailings and the Multiflo® range of dewatering solutions – have been integral to helping miners manage their waste for generations. Weir Minerals and Andritz have also reiterated their shared commitment to sustainability; it is an essential part of both their business and corporate strategies. Both companies have outlined ambitious plans to reduce their carbon emissions, while their approach to ESG initiatives extends to all aspects of their organisations. ‘Shareholders and stakeholders are rightfully demanding more sustainable mining practices and tailings management is an area where there’s a lot of scope for improvement. Weir Minerals wants to play a central role in changing how the industry thinks about and manages tailings. Ultimately, we believe that sustainable solutions are not only environmentally beneficial, but also reduce operating costs and minimise risk,’ David Almond, Weir Minerals Global Director, Product Management Process said. ‘Weir strives to make our customers more sustainable and efficient; it’s core to our purpose and at the heart of what we do. We believe that embedding sustainability throughout our organisation protects and creates long-term value for our stakeholders and secures the long-term future of Weir. Our approach to tailings management is an extension of our broader corporate strategy. There is scope to make long-lasting, impactful change in how the mining sector thinks about and manages tailings and Weir is proud to be one of the industry leaders,’ Jon Stanton, Weir Group Chief Executive said.
PNG Business News - September 15, 2021
STAKEHOLDERS VIEWS CRITICAL FOR BETTER RESOURCE GOVERNANCE: ALKAN
Head of the PNGEITI Mr Lucas Alkan last week in Wabag at the opening of the consultation. The Head of the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Mr. Lucas Alkan has issued a strong challenge to stakeholders in the extractive industries to embrace and promote the work of EITI in Papua New Guinea to derive best value from the industry. Mr. Alkan spoke of this last week in Wabag when he opened the upper highlands regional consultation on a proposed law to transition the PNGEITI into a statutory authority. “PNG EITI is a government driven initiative to promote transparency and accountability in the PNG mining and petroleum space which has been driving the PNG economy for a sustained period of time. “But there is this misconception about proceeds from mining and petroleum activities not being translated well into development on the ground and this sentiment is shared by many at both the provincial and national level. “What PNGEITI is doing is to shed light on the leakages on revenues and proceeds from the mining and petroleum activities with the ultimate aim of improving governance in the mining and petroleum sectors using international best practice standards to see the desired development outcome from this important sector. “Seven years into PNGEITI implementation in PNG, we’ve now seen the need to make the PNGEITI administrative body, the PNGEITI into a statutory body to see more improvement in the EITI reports to enhance good governance in the sector to derive the best development outcome. “We’ve covered two regions; the New Guinea Islands and Momase regions and we are now conducting consultations in Enga and Eastern Highalnds to cover the big highlands region. “I encourage the best knowledge and views from all stakeholders from the stakeholders in these consultations so that we give birth to a law that truly reflects the genuine views of all stakeholders for better development outcomes. A State Technical working group comprising the Department of Petroleum, State Solicitor, Internal Revenue Commission, Department of Personnel Management, Department of Treasury, the National Economic Fiscal Commission and Department of Finance were in the Enga capital, Wabag for a four days consultation for the Upper Highlands region” “PNGEITI has been in operations since 2014 effected by a NEC decision and now we are moving into the next step in anchoring this extractive industry reporting process into PNG’s legal and administrative system. PNGEITI published 7 reports detailing activities taking placing inn the PNG mining and petroleum space,” Mr. Alkan said. Article Courtesy of PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative