In brief: Construction of industrial zone in Madang will commence soon, says O’Neill, and other business stories

Proposed K350m Pacific Marine Industrial Zone to start soon, tuna exports to the EU equal that of Thailand and Philippines, and Supplementary Budget to be ‘rushed’ through parliament next week. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill reportedly says construction of the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project in Madang will commence soon, now that loan funding worth K350 million (US$ 152 million) has been secured. The project will be developed over 215 hectares of land, of which approximately 100 hectares would host canneries and 115 hectares would be for residential and commercial purposes. The Government expects the project will generate 30,000 jobs. Once fully developed, it will house 10 tuna processing plants for tuna caught in PNG and the Pacific.

***

R D Tuna’s cannery in Madang. Credit: R D Tuna

The PNG Fishing Industry Association says that, despite the current slump in the economy, the country’s exports of processed tuna to the European market is now almost equal in volume to that of Thailand and the Philippines, according to the Post Courier. It says the tuna industry has been consistently providing an average of 20,000 tonnes to the EU.

***

Treasurer Charles Abel says the 2017 supplementary budget and 2018 national budget will be ‘rushed’ through Parliament because time is not on his side. Parliament resumes sitting on September 26. An International Mone­tary Fund (IMF) Team Leader Thomas Baunsgaard, who is in PNG, says the IMF is both supportive and pleased with the 25-point 100-day economic plan proposed by the government.

***

Story continues after advertisment...

Niuminco Group says its subsidiary TNT Mines has successfully raised A$5.5 million and is now looking at listing on the ASX. Managing Director, Tracey Lake, says Niuminco will immediately accelerate its PNG exploration drilling programs and acquiring additional mining equipment for its Edie Creek gold mine, in the Highlands. Last month Niuminco acquired the 17 per cent interest in the Edie Creek mining leases held by former joint venture partner, Mincor Resources.

***

Twinza’s Seeker rig off Port Moresby. Credit: Twinza

Australian oil and gas company, Twinza Oil (PNG) says it will make a final investment decision on the Pasca A gas fields in Gulf Province next year, and production may start in 2020, says Development Manager, Erick Kowa. Its drilling rig Seeker departed Port Moresby Harbour for its drilling location in the Gulf of Papua for a 60-day drilling program.

***

PNG Air CEO Muralee Siva says passenger revenue rose 27 per cent in the first half of 2017, compared with 2016. He credits the use of ATR 72-600 aircraft to its fleet for the rise. He said the growth meant  the airline reduced its operating losses by more than 50 per cent to K12.83 million.

***

BNG Trading has signed an agreement with Australian food and beverage company, Lion, to import a new range of beers and ciders into PNG, including craft beers like James Squire and Little Creatures.

***

Tari Airport. Credit: Pinterest

The Government is giving Tari Airport a K55 million facelift, which will include new fencing, a terminal building and runway sealing. Hela Governor Philip Undialu told The Post-Courier work will start in March, next year, and the tender will be out next week to comply with the bidding criteria of the Asian Development Bank.

***

And finally, three government departments including the Ombudsman Commission have been locked out of their office building this week, with landlords saying the government owes over US$306,000 in rent. Landlords have also written to five government departments that occupy the Treasury building, warning that they will also be locked out. Finance Secretary Ken Ngangan has told EMTV the supplementary budget will resolve the issue, but says independent auditors are also being called in.

Speak Your Mind

*