In brief: Philippines company to operate Motukea and Lae ports, and other business stories

Philippines port operator wins 25-year contract to run key ports, Westpac MD outlines reasons for foreign currency backlog, and domestic gas clause to be part of new LNG projects. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Philippines port operator International Container Terminal Services (ICTS) has signed a 25-year agreement to operate international ports in Motukea and the Lae Tidal Basin, according to the Manila Times. The deal was reportedly signed by ICTS PNG subsidiaries, Motukea International Terminal Limited and South Pacific International Container Limited, and the PNG Ports Corporation.

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Westpac’s Managing Director Adrian Hughes says recent economic growth, narrow avenues of investment into PNG and its reliance on imports are the reasons for the current backlog of foreign currency orders. He told The National Westpac has orders for US$1 million (K3 million) a month. Meanwhile, a survey by the Institute of National Affairs reports the foreign exchange shortage has surpassed law and order as top of the list of impediments faced by business.

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Energy Minister Fabian Pok

Energy Minister Fabian Pok has told Parliament government negotiators will be inserting a domestic requirement clause in new gas projects. Loop PNG reports that he said the PNG LNG agreement has no such clause, but ExxonMobil has agreed to set some gas aside for a 100-megawatt power plant, which will be used for PNG power supplies.

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The reopened Fraud and Complaints Unit has so far received over 200 complaints from the public regarding lands issues and allegations of corruption levelled against Lands and Physical Planning Department officers. Lands Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, reportedly said an independent lawyer has been engaged, along with state lawyers, to ensure an independent body exists. He said the body and process excludes himself as the minister. He also said a major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business leases (SABLs).

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Designs by Lavagirl originator, Annette Sete.

PNG’s growing fashion industry was on show at the PNG Fashion and Design Week in Port Moresby on Saturday night. Designs included those by Niugini Native, Mahawa, Off2War, Lavagirl, Ma’Mana, Rels Adi Collection, Kenny Collection, PNGian Kala, Jaukae Bilum Products, CS2K, Baiwa and Tabu. Goroka-based Jaukae Bilum Products, run by Florence Jaukae was chosen to represent PNG at a fashion show in Sydney, Australia, later this year.

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The Government has paid Bank South Pacific another K900,000 for its SME lending platform called Lend Fast. Trade Minister Wera Mori told The National that the bank had so far approved 254 SME loans worth K79 million.

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From 4 November, Swire Shipping will include Rabaul as a port of call on its North Asia service, which connects Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, PNG, NZ and the Pacific.

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Australian Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy has been ordered to pay a $22 million bill owed to Singapore-based exploration company, BGP Geoexplorer, which carried out survey work in the Gulf of Papua for Palmer Petroleum, which went into liquidation in July 2016.

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The Mineral Resources Authority reports total mineral revenue for the year is expected to be K11 billion, a 13.4 per cent increase on 2016. It says gold represents 68.7 per cent of mineral revenues, but there have been increases in copper, nickel and cobalt. Gold, silver and copper production at Ok Tedi will potentially exceed K2.7 billion. Lihir is expected to return K3.7 billion. Income from the newly re-opened Kainantu mine is estimated at over K8 million from the first two shipments.

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Nadzab Airport. Credit: NAC

The redevelopment of Lae’s Nadzab airport will be completed by mid-2022, according to the National Airports Corporation’s Managing Director Mr Richard Yopo. In a presentation to the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said the Japanese Government is providing a K800 million loan over 30 years with a 10-year grace period, and the PNG Government is providing an equal amount. The Airport will be built to international standard and the airstrip will be the standby airstrip for Jacksons.

 

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