In brief: Construction milestone for PNG’s tallest building, and other business news

Construction milestone for PNG’s tallest building,  renewed support for fisheries training and PNG launches legal action in Australia. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

in brief

The 23-storey Nobel Centre in downtown Port Moresby, with Steamships’ Harbourside development in the foreground.

The tallest building in Papua New Guinea has completed its first structural phase. With the construction and property development sectors in Port Moresby taking off in a hive of activity, China Railway Construction Engineering Group PNG Real Estates Company (CRCEG) successfully completed the top of the Nobel Centre 23-storey building in downtown Port Moresby on November 23. CRCEG General Manager Andy Chow said it was quite an occasion to see the completion of the first phase by the end of this year.

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John Kasu, Managing Director, National Fisheries Authority.

The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has renewed its support for Technical and Vocational Education and Training Institutions to conduct fisheries courses around the country. A renewal MOU has been signed between NFA and the Department of Education. Managing Director for NFA John Kasu said that since 2014, NFA has committed funding, infrastructure support, and capacity building to fisheries instructors to support TVET institutions.

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Papua New Guinea has launched legal action in Australia, opening a new front in a long-running battle for control of a US$1.4 billion (A$1.94 billion) fund related to the controversial Ok Tedi copper and gold mine. In a claim filed with the Victorian Supreme Court, the PNG Government accuses the PNG Sustainable Development Program of breaking the rules under which it was set up by allowing its board to appoint directors and spending about $US48 million on administrative and exploration expenses. It is believed PNG SDP will attempt to have the Victorian proceedings sent to Singapore because litigation is already under way there.

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System Two of the undersea submarine cable between Port Moresby and Madang is expected to be launched in February next year, according to Paul Komboi, Managing Director of Dataco, a subsidiary of Kumul Telikom Holdings. By the end of 2019, all provinces in the country are expected to be connected by submarine fibre optic cables.

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Anthony Gilbert, Gilbert Backol and Livai Alois watch Anita Livai cook on a two-burner stove using biogas. Source: The National

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Cocoa Board of PNG and the University of Natural Resources and Environment  following a joint-venture agreement to develop and trial biogas in East New Britain. The signing of the MOU took place at Tavilo Cocoa Research Station at Kerevat in Gazelle. The intention is to eliminate the issue of ‘smoke taint’ in dried cocoa beans when firewood is used.

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A Papua New Guinea government minister is urging New Zealand to extend support for building markets in PNG to rural areas. During the APEC summit, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern formally opened a new market that had been built in Port Moresby with New Zealand assistance. PNG’s Housing and Urbanisation Minister John Kaupa said his government is looking for New Zealand support in his country’s outer provinces, where the majority of the population lives.

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The PNG Government will reportedly issue land titles for investors interested in the Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project in Madang. Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori reportedly said the titles would be issued to investors who are keen to set up processing plants or factories at the project site.

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Western Province has launched its agriculture master plan, whose aim is to identify how to sustain the people and its economy after the Ok Tedi mine closes.
The WestAgro master plan is a joint venture between Ok Tedi Development Foundation and Israeli company Innovative Agro Industry Ltd.

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PBF Agro Business Limited and Melanesian Trustee Services Ltd—trustee to Pacific Balanced Fund (PBF)—reportedly have plans to turn the rundown Koitaki farm estate into a world class agro food park. The project is intended to capture the advantages of economies of scale in the processing of agricultural products.

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Veteran foreign correspondent Sean Dorney last week received a Walkley Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism during for his 40-year career reporting for the ABC on the Pacific and, particularly, Papua New Guinea. Dorney covered many major events in his time in PNG and even captained the national rugby league side, The Kumuls.

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Photograph of the week

Bavol Noel, left, and Rheena Kati, in Timindmesuk attire of the North Fly region, present the masterplan in a bilum to Ok Tedi’s Musje Werror and Western Governor Taboi Awi Yoto. Source: Peter Esila, The National

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