ADB sounds note of caution on Lae port


The long-awaited project to expand Lae’s port is ‘ahead of schedule’, according to the Asian Development Bank’s Vice President (Operations 2) Stephen Groff, who visited Papua New Guinea last week to inspect progress.

ADB_Lae_visit_CREDIT_ Asian Development Bank

The ADB’s Stephen Groff (2nd from right) inspects the Lae port development. (Credit: ADB)

The Lae port contractor, China Harbour Engineering, is expected to complete the project—70% of which is financed by ADB loans—by the end of 2014.

Groff sounded a note of caution during his visit, however.

‘It’s not just completing the port,’ he told The National newspaper. ‘The Government needs to … think ahead about what they’re going to use the port for. This is a critical piece of infrastructure for the Highlands Highway, so you need to think ahead about how you’re going to use this port for imports and exports, and moving goods in and out of the area. What we don’t want to see at the end of 2014 is physical infrastructure … turned over [to the Government) and there’s a couple of years before the port is really active. We would hope that the port would be fully functional and active sometime in 2015.’

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