Airport Upgrades Vital: Treasurer
by Paul Oeka - November 27, 2022
Photo: Kavieng Airport
Minister for Treasury Ian Lin-Stuckey has stated that the upgrade of Airports in the Country is Vital for Papua New Guinea's Development.
“I was honoured that Prime Minister James Marape opened the Kavieng Airport upgrade. This was a historic day for Kavieng, making for safer and better linkages to the rest of PNG and the world."
The expansion of the runway by 500 metres to 2,200 metres means that larger aircraft can take more produce to international markets. More tourists can visit. Kavieng becomes an easier place for doing business. These types of benefits flow from airport upgrades anywhere in our country. Our country’s geography is beautiful but challenging for transport with so many islands and high mountains. The Marape-Rosso Government understands these challenges.
"The historic PNG Connect program includes not only major road connections but also airport upgrades and wharf upgrades. This is an infrastructure government working towards a fully connected PNG” stated the Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“In addition to the airport runway extension, the quality of the runway was upgraded to make for safer travel. An upgraded airport terminal also makes for more comfortable travel and better handling of cargo and produce. New lights and navigational aids have been added. A public market has also been built to tap into the expanded economic opportunities from the airport upgrade. The upgrades open the door for direct international flights from Australia and other destinations, making Kavieng more accessible to the world.
“The Kavieng airport upgrade represents the close work between the National Airports Corporation (NAC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It is one of many airports across the country that have been upgraded under the “Civil Aviation Development Investment Program” (CADIP).
PNG Business News - May 10, 2021
Mendi Airport Redevelopment put on Hold
The Southern Highlands Province's Mendi Airport Redevelopment scheme has been placed on hold. The redevelopment of the airport, which was scheduled to be completed in October this year, has been placed on hold, according to NAC acting managing director Rex Kiponge, due to the contractor not having the right materials for the runway and a disagreement among the landowners in Mendi. According to Kiponge, he visited the project site last week to do an inspection, and NAC discovered that the materials used to build the airport's runway were not the correct materials because the contractors struggled on their end, so the contractors were advised to re-do the runway. “I have to admit, we faced a lot of issues not only in Mendi Airport redevelopment but through all the airports under the CADIP Program. The contractors will redo the airport runway and the work on the terminal has not started as yet,” he said. According to Kiponge, there have been several landowner disputes that the provincial government is responsible for resolving. He said that he is eager to resolve the issues and complete the project under CADIP before the Asian Development Bank's deadline of November 24, 2021. The Mendi Airport Redevelopment project includes upgrading the current runway pavement to accommodate Dash 8-400 (Q400) and ATR 0-70 aircraft, as well as the construction of a new terminal building and other developments such as NAC Staff quarters, a tractor shed, an engineer site office, and a powerhouse. CADIP 1 is a sub-project funded by the Asian Development Bank's multi-tranche funding facility loans, and the ADB needs to see proper progress on all project sites completed during the availability timeframe before moving on to CADIP 2, which is scheduled for 2022-2024.
PNG Business News - May 13, 2021
National Airport Corporation to Focus on Redevelopment Projects
The National Airports Corporation plans to devote more resources to the redevelopment projects at Kavieng, Tari, and Mendi airports as part of the Civil Aviation Growth Investment Program. With the exception of three airports, all airports under the CADIP program are on a budget, according to NAC acting managing director Rex Kiponge. Apart from Jackson Airport in Port Moresby, Kiponge claims that the majority of the country's airports are unable to handle the newly launched F100 aircraft. “The introduction of F100 aircraft has deteriorated the condition of runways in PNG. Under CADIP, fencing and runway length deficiencies will now meet the F100 and ICAO requirements. CADIP was implemented to meet the minimum PNG Civil Aviation Rules (CARS) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices in all the 22 airports in the country. “The F100 aircraft require a minimum runway length of 1900 metres –– only three airports meet this requirement.” The F100 will be able to land at 12 airports thanks to a CADIP runway length upgrade. Port Moresby is now the only province that meets the operating criteria for F100 planes. Standby control, security fencing, apron parking, runway, taxiway, and apron strength, and a runway length suitable for takeoff at maximum payload are all part of the 22 airport upgrades. Kiponge recently visited the three airports and expressed his satisfaction with the development. Contractors have already finished construction on the security fence at Kavieng Airport, and work on the runway extension is going well. Once the runway extension is complete, the contractors can begin work on the terminal. He mentioned that the runway extension at Tari Airport is complete, and contractors are currently working on the apron, which will be finished until the runway extension is completed. Owing to the contractors' inability to obtain materials for the runway at Mendi Airport, NAC has requested that they redo the runway before moving on to the other areas. “Despite whatever issues within NAC, I will ensure that all 22 NAC’s airports undergoing upgrading will be completed and I will put in a lot of efforts and focus to makes certain work is done well and completed,” Kiponge said.
PNG Business News - April 19, 2021
Airport Projects On Schedule
Subprojects funded by the Asian Development Bank's multi-tranche funding facility loans for the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP) advancement are on schedule to be completed within the facility's availability span. The multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) is one of the ADB's modalities for assisting clients with their medium to long-term investment program or schedule. Bashirullah Khpalwan, the project team leader for the ADB-backed Civil Aviation Development Investment Program, said CADIP is a multi-tranche financing facility that has been introduced in three tranches as planned. CADIP is scheduled to be completed on November 24, 2021. The 21 national airports that handle the majority of the country's domestic passenger and freight traffic are the target of this investment program. He stated that CADIP's Tranche 1 was approved on December 1, 2009, and was completed in December 2015, while Tranche 2 was approved on November 25, 2013, and has made more than 95% implementation progress and is expected to be completed in September. Tranche 3, the MFF's final tranche, was approved on March 2, 2017, and all contracts have been awarded, with the exception of Kavieng Airport, which will be awarded in 2020. “The Kavieng Airport is on a critical path to completion and all other sub-projects under Tranche 3 are on track for completion as well within the MFF availability period of November 24, 2021. The executing agency for CADIP, the National Airports Corporation (NAC), has agreed with the civil works contractor in Kavieng to an accelerated schedule to complete the entire scope of the project within the availability of the MFF,” he said. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying lockdown, the CADIP team and civil works contractors aim to make strides in 2020, with positive results so far. In terms of cumulative growth and milestones, CADIP Tranche 3 has proved to be one of the highest performing projects in the PARD portfolio in 2020. The investment scheme, according to Mr Khpalwan, is closely associated with the PNG Government's Development Strategic Plan 2010–2030 and National Transport Strategy, which both recognize essential air connectivity to rural areas as a national priority.
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.