The three-day Papua New Guinea Energy Summit and Exhibition that ended last week focused on strengthening coordination roles among stakeholders and industry players by promoting government and private sector engagement to improve and reaffirm the huge potential of PNG’s Energy Sector.
This was the first time the summit was mainly dominated and driven by the Energy division. The summit highlighted the challenges and factors that could determine the right pathway for PNG’s Energy sector to align its direction and leadership priorities.
Facilitated by Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, the summit was regarded as a momentous occasion to identify key challenges and opportunities for addressing, improving, and accessing the Energy sector in the country.
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd. Managing Director, Wapu Sonk, stated in his closing remarks that he was quite pleased with the topics and issues discussed and highlighted throughout the summit, mostly in development and investment opportunities regarding the energy sector.
“It was always about mining and petroleum, and now it is time to focus more on energy because energy is the future for development in the country,” said Mr. Sonk.
Participants at the summit included heads of departments, development partners, the private sector, institutions, civil society organizations, potential investors, and individuals.
With up to 30 exhibition booths that consisted of different organizations and stakeholders in the Energy sector, the summit was commended as an exciting experience in terms of networking and showcasing their products and services.
Climate change was also a big topic discussed at the summit regarding PNG’s vulnerability to climate change ramifications. This was stated by key speakers as being a global concern, but PNG must be aligned with climate change adaptations and mitigation while at the same time looking at developing its domestic energy policy.
During the summit, discussions also indicated that investors and service providers were taking proactive steps to venture into areas within the energy sector where the government’s attitude and approach were restricted by policy guidelines.
The sentiments shared by Mr. Sonk during his closing remarks also indicated the lack of government participation.
Mr. Sonk said: “My biggest regret is that the government must sit in such summits and attend to discussions and take note of how policy should be implemented and where the industry is headed.”
The summit was endorsed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and financially and technically supported by KPHL, Exxon Mobil, Santos, Total Energies, MRDC, Twinza, Vodafone, ANZ, High Arctic Energy Services, JX Nippon Oil & Energy, Kina Bank, and Puma Energy.
In closing the summit, Mr. Sonk said: “I hope the next energy summit will be much bigger and I each and every one of you who has traveled into the country or are residents here for attending.”