Hundreds of businesses register for Papua LNG early works contracts


Early works contracts for the TotalEnergies-led Papua LNG gas project are expected to start being issued next month. Institute of Banking and Business Management’s CEO Susil Nelson-Kongoi shares some advice on how businesses can position themselves for the work with Business Advantage PNG.

The Papua LNG site in Gulf Province. Credit: TotalEnergies

Following procurement roadshows for the TotalEnergies-led Papua LNG project in Port Moresby and Lae earlier this year, 208 companies have so far registered on the Institute of Banking and Business Management’s (IBBM) Supplier Management Portal for early works engineering, procurement and contraction (EPC) contracts, according to IBBM’s CEO, Susil Nelson-Kongoi.

She tells Business Advantage PNG that registrations are likely to exceed her expected target of 500 before closing in mid-August. Also in August, IBBM and TotalEnergies also aim to run further supplier procurement roadshows in Madang and Kokopo.

Not too late to register

IBBM’s Susil Nelson-Kongoi.

The first batch of early works contracts are expected to be awarded during August, ahead of a final investment decision on the gas project expected in early 2024.

However, Nelson-Kongoi reminds interested companies that it’s not too late to register on the portal, especially given that other Papua LNG contracts will follow later this year, and the list of skills required to complete them is yet to be released.

She also reminds suppliers who may miss out on Papua LNG early works projects that, by registering on the portal, they’ll also be considered for ongoing high-impact projects, such as the national Connect PNG road construction program.

‘While companies that were awarded contracts during the construction phase of [the ExxonMobil-led] PNG LNG [project] should do well out of Papua LNG early works, it’s important to note that a whole new cohort will come into play based on the skill-sets required,’ says Nelson-Kongoi.

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In addition, she says jobs listed on the recently-launched Wan PNG jobs website will also be linked to the portal.

Here to help

As the supplier registration process itself takes time and may discourage some companies from registering, Nelson-Kongoi reminds business owners that the IBBM is available to help them to ensure they have the opportunity to be considered for early works contracts.

‘We undertake the business assessment of local companies looking to achieve a four-star rating, and a member of our business development team can assist in the process,’ she says.

Companies located in Gulf Province are especially encouraged to register for contract opportunities.

She also reminds suppliers to make it clear on the registration form where the ownership of the company is domiciled, especially if they have branch operations elsewhere.

No rush

Given that registration requires input from different parts of the business, she recommends companies allow up to three days for the registration process to be completed properly.

‘We encourage those companies that may have encountered issues completing their registration online and subsequently stopped to remove themselves from the portal and reapply. We can assist them in the process,’ says Nelson-Kongoi.

‘Try to factor into your pricing forecasts any unforeseen events that could eat into your margins.’

‘While we’ve noted that some suppliers are going direct to TotalEnergies on the assumption this will give them a leg up with early works contracts, through our partnership, TotalEnergies will be posting all procurement opportunities via us.’

Lessons from PNG LNG

Based on her previous experience with ExxonMobil PNG Limited, where she held several managerial positions including that of National Content Manager, Nelson-Kongoi notes that too few suppliers identified how they could diversify once the PNG LNG project moved from construction into production phase. She also reminds suppliers that IBBM’s training centre can help upskill their staff to take on new projects.

Finally, she has some free advice about pricing:

‘One of the key lessons from PNG LNG is that suppliers tend to price too low and don’t cover their operational costs,’ she warns.

‘As well as providing a timely service, try to factor into your pricing forecasts any unforeseen events that could eat into your margins.’

IBBM’s Susil Nelson-Kongoi will be a guest speaker at the 2023 Business Advantage PNG Investment Conference taking place in Brisbane on 10 and 11 August. Check out the program and register here.


  1. Nick Kutogim says

    Good news for PNG owned companies to participate.

  2. Alex Yawingo Willie says

    Thank you for this information and advice.please I need links to excess your websites or is it ok if I can excess your registration fact we are the landowners and priorities should be given to us.

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