Photo credit: International Trade and Investment Ministry of Papua New Guinea Facebook page
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently with the Ministry and the Department of International Trade and Investment to establish a long-term collaborative relationship where KPHL will be the energy solution provider to support the development and operation of all the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru during the signing said that securing reliable and affordable energy supply to the SEZs was a critical foundational input to the commencement and development of the SEZs.
“Our country is known by most of the investors as one of the most difficult and expensive places to do business and one of the primary reasons is because we have very unreliable power and the most expensive cost of energy. Even the cost of producing goods in PNG is ten times more when we are competing with other countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia,” said Minister Maru.
“The vision of the Marape-Rosso Government is clear, we want to replace all food imports, we want to process everything that we currently produce into final products, and we want to grow our exports, but we cannot do that without cheap, reliable and clean energy. Without innovative solutions to our electricity to bring the cost down and make power more reliable, we will never succeed as a country to develop this nation because we are living in a global community where we need to compete with the rest of the world. It is our job as the Government to make sure that the country has cheap and reliable and clean energy. The time has come for us to stop pretending that everything is well, accept the responsibility and look at organizations like KPHL who have the mandate to provide energy so we can attract investors. We can dream about all the big projects, but they will only be dreams unless we find real solutions to electricity and all the other factors that attract investments and investor confidence in our country. There are other inputs too like the freight cost but for now electricity is one of the biggest hinderance to our economic growth and to our ability to process and to compete with the rest of the world,” added Minister Maru.
Minister Maru said the Ministry and the Department of International Trade and Investment had made a deliberate choice to partner KPHL as their partner of choice to help them find energy solutions to power up all our economic zones into the future because they have the financial muscle, they have technical competence, they have energy, they are the producer of energy, and they have a record where they constructed and operated a gas fired 58MW power generation facility in Port Moresby under a 50/50 ownership arrangement with an experienced international operator at zero loss of time and zero incidents.
“KPHL has already started to be a player in the energy market, not only to produce the resource but to supply electricity. Our country needs innovative solutions providers and we have decided to partner KPHL because we have the agenda to announce the SEZ Masterplan by May this year,” said Minister Maru.
Minister Maru said the Ministry and the Department of International Trade and Investment was determined to partner KPHL to help them find solutions for Madang and East Sepik Province as a matter of priority.
“I am looking forward to working with the Board and Management of KPHL to start with these two provinces where we have the proposed PMIZ and the Sepik Plains SEZ,” said Minister Maru.