How PNG Forest Products is expanding operations in Papua New Guinea


PNG Forest Products started as a forestry company but is also now a full-fledged power company too. Managing Director Tony Honey tells Business Advantage PNG how the company is expanding its manufacturing, increasing exports, and handling growth.

PNG Forest Products team at the Haus Ples Expo. Credit: PNG Forest Products

Business Advantage PNG (BAPNG): How are you expanding your operations and product range?

The current three power stations voltage is stepped up to 33,000 volts. Credit: PNG Forest Products

TH: We are producing and exporting some really innovative and interesting products that represent value-adding to an otherwise basic piece of plywood. Products such as: modular bridges and decking into Australia and New Zealand; specialised railway bridge re-decking in Sydney [Australia]; sound barriers along Australian highways; and scarf-jointed bus floors for Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

We’ve also continued to develop our hydro-power operations. We operate three stations, including the oldest and newest hydro-power stations in PNG. We are the only Independent Power Producer that supplies hydropower to PNG Power. We are also currently well advanced with the development of our fourth and fifth hydropower stations.

We are providing hydropower to the community as well as using it for our own purposes. We supply the Bulolo community, the PNG grid and our operations.

The question has been asked: ‘Will we ultimately become a power company as well as a forestry company?’ We have become this already. We will continue to grow our major business streams.

BAPNG: How do you select market opportunities and how do you coordinate it?

Tony Honey (TH): The obvious factor for exports is being competitive and producing products that bring greater value to our business. Through close liaison with our clients, we continue to improve our product lines through greater efficiencies and improved quality standards, which enable us to fend off alternative product offerings.

Market opportunities come about by being competitive and continuing to develop alternate engineered wood products.

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BAPNG: What kind of sales growth are you expecting?

PNG Forest Products’ Tony Honey

TH: We see substantial growth in our power business simply by being competitive and efficient. This also applies to all our timber-based business streams. These engineered wood products require us to be innovative, efficient and competitive.

‘Any large organisation such as ours frequently tweaks its management and in recent times we have undergone a major restructure that has been successful and beneficial.’

BAPNG: What are your biggest challenges and opportunities?

TH: Improved infrastructure is critical to our continued success as are favourable exchange rates with exports and less bureaucratic red tape. Financially stable government provides stable income for our power business streams; essentially this applies to the local economy as well.

BAPNG: You seem to be expanding quite quickly. How does that affect your organisation and management? Have you had to do any restructuring?

TH: Any large organisation such as ours frequently tweaks its management and in recent times we have undergone a major restructure that has been successful and beneficial. This was not brought about by expansion, but rather by a weakening economy, which we experienced two years or so ago.

While we have expanded in certain business streams, the main focus has been on greater efficiencies and output, plus producing higher value products.

PNG Forest Products’ Tony Honey, will be speaking at the 2019 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney on 19 and 20 August. For further details, visit

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