Sonk: Papua LNG FEED green light is good news for Papua New Guinea
by PNG Business News - August 02, 2022
Photo credit: CEO Magazine - Kumul Petroleum managing director Wapu Sonk
Commenting on the recent announcement by TotalEnergies that the Papua LNG joint venture will launch the first phase of front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for upstream production facilities on the 5.4 Mt/year LNG project that they are operator of, Kumul Petroleum managing director Wapu Sonk was congratulatory.
He said, “As a potential co-venturer in this LNG project, we are really glad that this momentous decision has been made by TotalEnergies and its partners, it is a sign of their faith in the future of Papua New Guinea.”
Mr Sonk noted that studies for the downstream liquefaction facilities were also progressing in line with the overall project schedule, with the objective of launching the integrated FEED in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The project is targeting a final investment decision (FID) around the end of 2023, which will enable project construction to commence, leading to a projected project start-up at the end of 2027. We have been waiting for this good news for a number of years now.”
As the national petroleum company, Kumul Petroleum Holdings will be exercising its right to take up to 22.5% equity in the Papua LNG project, and join the other partners TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and Santos.
Mr Sonk continued, “We have seen the many benefits that have come about as a result of the ExxonMobil led PNG LNG Project, and I foresee that the lessons learned from that project will enable all Papua New Guinea stakeholders to maximise their various benefits from the Papua LNG development. Papua LNG construction will have large multiplier effects in the economy”
The decision by Papua LNG to enter FEED would benefit many stakeholders since after the completion of an estimated four years of construction it was planned to then start the construction of the P’nyang LNG Project, which would take another 3-4 years to construct.
“The likelihood of up to eight years of LNG related infrastructure construction means that many nationally owned service industries have the opportunity to develop a firm financial, technical and human resource foundation that will ensure their future in a rapidly industrialising Papua New Guinea.”
Mr Sonk confirmed his belief that LNG developments would underpin the economy of PNG for at least the next two decades, assisting in the roll out of electrification across the country and be the catalyst for downstream processing of petroleum into products such as fertilisers and petrochemicals.
“At Kumul Petroleum we will be playing a continuing role in petroleum developments and also intend to play a greater role in related nation-building projects to ensure that benefits from this sector are spread as widely as possible.”
PNG Business News - February 15, 2021
PM Says LNG Project is Moving in the Right Direction
After the signing of the fiscal stability agreement, Prime Minister James Marap said that the Papua LNG project is going in the right direction. He gave confidence to the investors that PNG has an active democracy. “We appreciate very much that this project has now been moved,” he said. “The Government will ensure that all necessary support is procured for this project to be moved as our project developer moves into the FEED phase. Our country is moving into exciting years ahead. Let me sound this out to our investors: Today is a testament to what democracy in PNG is all about, irrespective of the politics that is at play. Our economy is in a very vibrant democracy. Our rule of law prevails, our judiciary always presides over matters that are in conflict. Our country has not terminated any project agreement during the life of the contract.”Apologising to investors that the government had caused them too much stress, he said, “The Government provides the social licensing, provides the security also. It needs to ensure that all ticks that need to be ticked are ticked, with respect to the laws that we have.”
PNG Business News - February 15, 2021
Oil Search Happy with Papua LNG Progress
Oil Search Ltd is happy to see the progress of the US$12 billion (K41.38 billion) Papua LNG project.According to Oil Search managing director Dr Keiran Wulff, “We are pleased to see further progress achieved on the Papua LNG. This milestone highlights the commitment from the Government towards Papua LNG and is a significant step in de-risking the project. It also demonstrates increasing alignment between the Government and the joint venture partners. We look forward to progressing the Papua LNG and announcing further milestones consistent with our strategic review announced last November.”Total, the operator of the project signed the agreement - together with ExxonMobil and Oil Search - signed an agreement with the government early this week. This is seen as a final step under the Papua LNG gas agreement to proceed with the project fiscal stability. Total managing director, meanwhile, Jean-Marc Noiray said that they welcome the “whole stabilisation of the project”.“The Feed (front end engineering design) itself will last between 15 and 18 months, from the moment we reach the final investment decision,” he said. “And from final investment decision to first gas, we have about four years of construction. It’s a long journey before we get to the first gas, and the first revenues for the developers and the country.”
PNG Business News - February 26, 2021
Oil Search Shows Strong Performance
Oil Search has brought a strong financial year in 2020 with a core net profit after tax of US$22.0million (K77m), also reported to a full-year production of 29.0 mmboe and the strongest safety performance since assuming operatorship in 2003.The financial results were significantly lower realised hydrocarbon prices in 2020 as compared to 2019, which resulted in a full-year net loss of US$320.7 million (K1.1bn). This includes a post-tax impairment charge of US$260.2 million (K908.7m) that had been recognised in the interim financial results.For managing director Dr Keiran Wulff, “Oil Search emerged from 2020 stronger and more resilient as a result of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, demand collapse and oil price downturn. Despite the material challenges, Oil Search achieved three important records for the year. The first is the strongest safety performance in PNG since becoming the operator of the PNG oil fields in 2003, with a total recordable incident rate of 0.78 per million hours worked, and no Tier 1 process safety events.”According to Wulff, the second is the strongest production reliability from its operations in PNG since the 2018 earthquake and, the delivery of record annual production from the PNG LNG project.He said that the company brought down some decisive actions. “We also undertook a major strategic review to prioritise activities and capital spend for a low carbon future,” he said. “This resulted in streamlining our portfolio and incurring a non-recurring, post-tax impairment charge of US$260.2 million (K908.7m). We are a more focused, leaner and lower cost resilient business in a strong position to commercialise our world-class resource base and leverage the oil price. We will continue to focus on maximising operating cash flow and delivering material growth projects which will be underpinned by resilient operations and disciplined capital management. We have set up a dedicated transformation team to embed a high-performance culture across the business.”
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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.