In brief: Design of floating LNG plan underway, and other business stories

Kumul Petroleum signs MOU for design of floating LNG plant, K64 million tourism support for Milne Bay and ENB provinces, and BSP reports K185 million Q3 profit. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

PNG may soon have its first floating LNG plant in the Gulf Province following the signing of a memorandum between China-based Wison Offshore and Marine and the American engineering company KBR, who will collaborate to design the facility for state-owned Kumul Petroleum Holdings. The design is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

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The World Bank’s Patricia Veevers-Carter. Credit: World Bank.

A K64 million (US$20 million) project will be set up in Milne Bay and East New Britain Provinces to help establish their tourism institutions, according to the Post Courier. World Bank PNG Country Manager, Patricia Veevers-Carter, said the project will include an upgrade of tourism sites, like the World War II memorial parks and cemeteries and other tourist attractions to make them more accessible.

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Bank South Pacific (BSP) has reported a profit of K185 million in its third quarter operations this year. Compared with the previous corresponding period, net profit after tax was down eight per cent, total income was down by one per cent and operating costs were up by eight per cent. Interest on loans and foreign exchange grew by two per cent and three per cent respectively. BSP Chief Executive Robin Fleming described retail growth in PNG as ‘quite strong and positive.’ He said the bank can continue to invest in its new banking system ‘which we are hoping to roll out towards the end of 2018 or early 2019.’

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Joint venture partners Australia-based Clough and Finnish technology group Wärtsilä have won an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to develop a 58MW gas-fired power station in Port Moresby, according to Energy Business Review .

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Illimo’s dairy herd. Credit: IAI

Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel believes development of big agricultural projects such as the Illimo Dairy Farm outside Port Moresby will greatly assist in addressing issues such as foreign exchange shortages, according to The National.  ‘Papua New Guinea needs to produce its own food, its own energy, and bring the cost of doing business down,’ said Abel.

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Over 1000 trust accounts with accumulated holdings of K2 billion will be examined by the Department of Finance, according to EMTV. Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan says government departments and agencies have accounts not visible to the Department of Finance.

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The French ambassador Pascal Maubert said France and PNG are expected to increase positive bilateral exchanges because of Total’s ‘considerable’ investment in the proposed Papua LNG project. According to The National, Maubert described the Total project as ‘a turning point’.

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PNG and Korea have entered into a three-year contract aimed at minimising the environmental foot prints of mines operating in the country, according to the Post Courier. The agreement was signed by Mineral Resources Authority Managing Director Philip Samar and Mine Reclamation Corporation (MIRECO) CEO and President Dr Kwon Hyuk-In.

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Petroleum Minister, Nixon Duban. Credit: PMO

A review of all petroleum licenses that have been issued to investors to date is to be undertaken by the Department of Petroleum, according to the Post Courier. Petroleum Minister, Nixon Duban, reportedly said the aim is to get rid of the practice of ‘warehousing’ of licenses, which has become rife.

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And finally, the French overseas territory of New Caledonia will hold a referendum on self rule in 2018, which could pave the way to full independence for the Pacific archipelago. The referendum is part of the 20-year old Noumea Accord, which was signed by Paris and New Caledonian officials in 1998.

The Lowy Institute’s Interpreter blog has an interesting commentary on the process here.

 

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