In brief: Dirio Gas and Power project launched and other business stories


Dirio Gas and Power project commissioned, Barrick distances from Papua New Guinea’s political turmoil and state-owned enterprises reform ‘on track’. The business stories you need to kickstart your week.


The 45MW Dirio power plant. Credit: Mineral Resources Development Company via Facebook


Prime Minister Marape has claimed that no international company is involved in local politics. The announcement came after posts and comments on social media suggested that Barrick CEO Mark Bristow’s visit to Papua New Guinea had to do with the changes in local politics. Marape said: ‘Barrick is not involved in local politics, ExxonMobil is not involved in local politics and Total is not involved in local politics … Let’s all leave our local partners out of [accusations of being involved in] local politics. None of our foreign investors are involved in local politics.’

After the allegations, Bristow and his team also released a statement in which they distance themselves from local politics. (The National)


The Managing Director of Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Isikeli Taureka, told The National that the reforms of the state-owned enterprises are ‘on track’ and will continue despite changes in government. He reportedly said that the reforms were designed to ‘separate politics from commercial decisions’.


Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) is confident it will reach its revised target of K7.3 billion for the 2020 supplementary budget. Commissioner General Sam Koim said the IRC has readjusted its strategies and is mitigating revenue losses. (Post Courier)

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The Dirio Gas and Power project was commissioned last week. It is expected to supply 45 megawatts of power using gas from the PNG LNG project to PNG’s capital city, Port Moresby. This is the first time that a nationally-owned company has entered into the power generation business. The project was scheduled to launch in July but was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Mineral Resources Development Company)


Gold Mountain announced it received AU$2 million (K5.1 million) for the Wabag project in Enga Province, which includes Monoyal, Mt Wipi and Sak Creek. Drilling at Monoyal has begun; the site has copper, gold and molybdenum deposits. (The National)


The Simberi Gold Mine in New Ireland Province has developed a Cocoa Rehabilitation and Planting program that seeks to help improve the lives of people from the Tabar Group of Islands. In a bid to make the project  more profitable, General Manager Jason Robertson reportedly said that the services of Paradise Foods have been engaged to help them develop a chocolate bar from Tabar cocoa. ‘Our vision is that one day there will be enough critical mass of cocoa production for a boat to come in every couple of weeks. We are trying to create a sustainable future,’ he added. (Post-Courier)


Oil Search operations Source: Oil Search

Oil Search delivered a strategy update last Friday. It aims to focus on prioritising Papua LNG while reducing PNG capital expenditure by 40% by 2023 and exploration expenditure by AUS$200 million (K513 million). It suggests it can achieve a 70% increase in net cashflows from the PNG LNG project by 2027. (Oil Search)


PNG Ports paid K9,634,146.12 in dividends to Kumul Consolidated Holdings, which represents 50 per cent of its total dividends for 2019. (The National)


PNG’s exports to China have grown from US$34.56 billion (K118.29 billion) in 2018 to US$38.52 (K131.85 billion) in 2019 according to Don Sawong, PNG Ambassador to China, who spoke during a Pacific Island Countries investment promotion event in Shenzhen. He said that China continues to be a ‘top trading and investment partner for PNG’ and that ‘PNG will continue to welcome Chinese investments and businesses to create employment opportunities, contribute to our overall economic growth and help improve the lives and living conditions of our people. (The National)


The latest Pacific Business Monitor Survey suggest that the COVID-19 struggles on Pacific businesses are decreasing, with only 85 per cent of respondents reporting a negative impact – that is seven per cent lower than the last wave and the lowest number since tracking began. It also suggests that 75 per cent of business are now confident they will survive the COVID crisis and that 34 per cent of business are expecting to return to ‘business as usual’ in 2021. However, poor cash flow, closed international borders and uncertainty about the duration of the crisis remain a concern for most businesses. (Pacific Trade Invest)

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