In brief: Air Niugini launches new direct routes, and other business news

Air Niugini launches new direct route, Total wins contract for Lihir Gold Mine, and a new state-owned-enterprise is formed. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

in briefAir Niugini has launched its first direct flight between Narita, Japan and Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. Sixty passengers, mostly Japanese tourists, boarded the first flight out of Narita destined for Chuuk, arriving early the next morning. On arrival in Chuuk, a further 60 passengers, comprising a large number of divers joined the flight to Port Moresby.

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Total, the world’s fourth largest international oil and gas company, has reportedly been awarded a four-year contract with Newcrest’s Lihir Gold Mine, following a competitive tender process that began last November. Andrew Morton, Total PNG’s General Manager said: ‘This contract with one of the largest gold mines in PNG, helps to reaffirm Total’s position as the leading lubricant supplier to the mining industry in PNG.’

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The National Executive Council has reportedly approved the establishment of a new state-owned-enterprise, Kumul Agriculture Limited, whose task is to hold the state’s interests in all agricultural investments throughout PNG. For a full list of board members see People Moves.

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New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) has claimed that Papua New Guinea’s largest agricultural export commodity, palm oil, could be under grave threat if the spread of the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Guam (CRB-G) biotype) is not properly addressed.

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Hilton Port Moresby executive chef Paul Brown.

World leaders and foreign dignitaries attending the APEC Forum will dine on a range of traditional Papua New Guinean foods, including mudcrabs, organically farmed beef and hand-caught Spanish Mackerel. The food will be cooked in a 3-metre earth oven, styled on a traditional mumu. Soon-to-open Hilton Port Moresby head chef Paul Brown says he hopes to showcase PNG cuisine on the world stage.

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Local community members from the Massi and Kerefa villages near Goroka Town are reportedly helping PNG Power disconnect illegal connections in their council ward—the first time a community has taken such an initiative. Most of the time, PNG Power engages police force during disconnection exercises in centres around the country. The disconnection exercise, which began on 4 September, will continue into other neighbouring villages.

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Melanesian Trustee Services Limited (MTSL) has been removed as the manager of the K600 million investment company Pacific Balanced Fund after 20 years of service, according to the Post Courier.

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The European Union says its new funding agreement with marine agencies in the Pacific will help prevent fish laundering in the region. The EU, along with Sweden, has pledged US$52 million to working with the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Pacific Community, the Regional Environment Programme and the University of the South Pacific over the next five years.

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The Labour minister says the minumum wage is too low and will be reviewed. The Post Courier reported Mehrra Kipefa telling Parliament that PNG’s hourly minumum wage is K3.50 per hour, the equivalent of US$1.08 per hour.

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Women selling watermelons at the 40-mile market near Chivasing in Markham Valley, Morobe. Source: The National

Landowners in Markham, Morobe, are reportedly benefiting from an ‘intercropping’ trial undertaken by renewable energy company PNG Biomass. The company conducted the trials at its eucalypt plantations in Markham Valley with melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, rice, cassava, yam, peanuts and other food crops. The technique involves growing fruit and vegetables between rows of trees.

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North Fly Rubber Limited chairman Warren Dutton says nearly 14,000 families in Western Province survive on rubber farming and the lack of funding is affecting them. Dutton reportedly made the claim when receiving K500,000 in funding from North Fly MP James Donald last week.

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The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has reportedly issued a statutory notice to Paradise Company Limited to provide information relating to the acquisition of Laga Industries Limited.

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Including rural women in the digital economy is a huge challenge for PNG, according to the Minister for Community Development and Religion Soroi Eoe. ‘For us it is a huge challenge, but more importantly understanding what other economies are doing could be a huge turn around for us,’ she reportedly said during a weeklong forum on women in the economy.

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The second currency processing and distribution facility of the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) in Lae is nearing completion. The building will be BPNG’s first facility outside of Port Moresby. It is expected to open next month.

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Ilimo Dairy Farm has reportedly lodged a complaint with the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) relating to unfair trade practices currently employed by some overseas dairy producers. The complaint was lodged after foreign producers lowered the price of one litre UHT milk to some Port Moresby retail outlets at below the landed cost. Meanwhile, costs for the same products in Lae and other parts of the country remained either the same or increased.

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Photograph of the week

Contractors working on the Kassam Pass section of the Highlands Highway in the Eastern Highlands. Source: The National

 

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