In brief: ADB approves K87 million telecommunications investment in Papua New Guinea and other business stories


The Asian Development Bank approves a multi-million kina investment in telecommunications in Papua New Guinea, Investment Promotion Authority looks to make doing business easier, and Fortescue Metal Group announces plans for hydropower projects in PNG. The business news you need to kickstart your week.

Fortescue Papua New Guinea

PM Marape together with Governors and Members of Parliament witness the signing of the agreement between the State, represented by Sasindran Muthuvel and Fortescue Metals Group of Australia, represented by Deputy CEO Julie Shuttleworth and Founder and Chairman Andrew Forrest. Credit: PNG Office of the Prime Minister


Twinza Oil and the Gulf Provincial Government have signed an agreement that grants access to Gulf Province to electricity generated from the Pasca A offshore oil and gas project, PNG’s first offshore gas project, which is located 95 km from Gulf’s coastline. Governor Chris Haiveta reportedly said that the proposed power project will supply electricity to fisheries, forestry, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and transport. (The National)


Prime Minister Marape has reportedly said that Kumul Mineral Holdings Ltd (KMHL) will finance itself and that it won’t use Ok Tedi resources to finance the Porgera gold mine. According to Marape, ‘KMHL will find its own financing of the Porgera mine to strengthen its balance sheet and Porgera will be financially stable.’ He also that the ‘state is ready to open the mine.’ (Post- Courier)


Last week, the Asian Development Bank (ABD) approved a US$25 million (K87 million) investment in Fiji’s Amalgamated Telecom Holdings subsidiary ATH International Venture Pte. Limited. The funds will help to fund a 4G greenfield mobile telecommunications network in PNG.

The network is set to improve mobile services in PNG, according to Jackie B. Surtani, Infrastructure Finance Division Director for Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific. He said it ‘will increase domestic and regional connectivity and serve as a powerful access toll for other sectors of the economy such as telemedicine, education, and banking.’ (ADB)


In May, Westpac announced that it would conduct a strategic review of its specialist business, including its Westpac Pacific banking operations. After an article last week suggested the bank was in talks to sell its Pacific banking operations, The National spoke to a Westpac spokesperson who reportedly said: ‘Westpac does not respond to speculation and, as always, if there is news to share about our business, our people and customers will hear it from us.

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‘Westpac PNG is part of Westpac Banking Group and customers can be assured that we are here to help and continue to support people and communities across Papua New Guinea, including through the support we are offering during the COVID-19 pandemic.’


ADB’s David Hill.

PNG’s Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Treasury and the ADB through its Private Sector Development Initiative to help the IPA develop a new online business registry designed to make doing business in PNG easier.

‘The MoU is an important commitment by IPA and ADB to continue working to make it easier for business to operate and invest in PNG,’ said ADB’s PNG Country Director, David Hill. ‘The Partnership has already resulted in significant achievements, including the transition of its existing online business registries to a stable, online environment, and the implementation of the personal property securities register, which makes it easier for business to access finance.’ (Post-Courier)


PNG’s Parliament has abolished the position of Chief Secretary to Government, which was held by Isaac Lupari. The position has been abolished because it ‘raised concerns about its powers and undermined the relationship between ministers and agency heads’. Lupari is expected to leave his office today. (RNZ)


Link PNG, a subsidiary of Air Niugini, will commence scheduled flights to Tufi in Northern Province, on September 16. (PostCourier)


Kumul Consolidated Holdings and the Fortescue Metal Group have signed an agreement to work on a 25Gw hydropower project. Post-Courier reported that feasibility studies in seven hydro hotspots will commence soon.

‘There is the potential to generate in excess of 25 gigawatts or more, of PNG’s hydropower resources to support green industrial operations for domestic consumption and export to international markets,’ said Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments Sasindran Muthuvel. ‘This could include environmentally sustainable production of steel and cooper and chemical industries such as fertiliser plants or ammonia plats.’


PNG will receive K4.3 million as part of a support package from the UK to support COVID-19 operations in the Pacific nation. The majority of the funding will be provided through the World Health Organisation for PNG’s COVID-19 response program and K1 million will be used to fund water, sanitation and hygiene projects in schools in Goroka and Mt Hagen. (LOOP PNG)

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