In brief: Dirio ready to supply power to Port Moresby by the end of October and other business stories


Dirio ready to supply power to Port Moresby’s grid, Oil Search revenue and production increases, and two SMEs join forces to host a challenge for Papua New Guinea’s entrepreneurs. The business news you need today.


K92 Mining has shared details of its K21 million ‘COVID-free bubble’, an effort to help expat employees operate between Australia and PNG. The bubble is a management plan that includes testing before and after arrival to PNG or Australia, quarantine when needed and vaccinations administered on site. (Post-Courier)


Oil Search has announced its Q3 report, highlighting an operating revenue of US$409 million, 12 per cent up from the previous quarter, and a total production increase of 5 per cent compared with Q2. Oil Search also reduced its net debt by 8 per cent to US$1.953 million.

Although the quarter posed its challenges due to COVID-19, Oil Search also highlighted the ‘ramping up of activity in the Papua LNG project, as it prepares to enter pre-FEED before the end of 2021’ and the advancement of P’nyang with the signing of the HOA between ExxonMobil and PNG as positive developments. (Oil Search)


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Meanwhile, the report says, the proposed merger with Santos continues to advance. The next steps, according to the report ‘include first Court Hearing in PNG and dispatch of documents related to the Scheme to Oil Search shareholders. (Oil Search)

Economy & finance

The latest Pacific Economic Market Insights quarterly report from BSP Financial Group Limited has a revised GDP growth down to one per cent for 2021, well below the earlier forecast of 2.5 per cent.

The report also highlights that the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country ‘pose a threat to PNG’s economy, business and the economy cannot afford nationwide lockdowns’. Last, the Q3 report highlights that major resources projects such as Papua LNG will ‘provide PNG businesses certainty and growth prospects,’ but the economy will remain ‘challenged’ until such projects complete negotiations. (BSP Financial Group Limited)


Emstret Space, Port Moresby’s first co-working space, and Niunet, a local online education startup, have partnered to deliver a startup challenge for PNG entrepreneurs, to help them collaborate to create new enterprises. The challenge will consist of a one-month training program that will conclude with a pitching session to a panel of corporate companies. (Post-Courier)


The new COVID-19 measures that came into effect last month allowing fully vaccinated travellers from certain countries to enter PNG without quarantine have had a negative impact on hotels. The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Rio Fiocco, reportedly said that ‘hotels that were reasonably busy with their quarantine customers have lost all that business now and are really struggling,’ as at the moment there is no tourism business. (The National)


It is expected that at the end of October, Dirio Gas & Power Ltd, an independent power producer, will begin to supply power into the PNG Power grid in Port Moresby. Dirio’s 45-megawatt power plant at Caution Bay in Central Province was finished in November 2020 but problems with a new PNG Power transmission line and lack of capacity and stability on the existing transmission line meant PNG Power couldn’t take the full supply agreed in the Power Purchase Agreement until now. (Mineral Resources Development Company)

Photograph of the week


OTML donates essential supplies to the Goroka Hospital to help staff facing the challenges of the recent COVID-19 spike in cases. Credit: OTML

Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) has donated 500 oxygen cylinders, protective personal equipment and medical supplies to the Goroka General Hospital to assist in the challenges the province faces because of the rise in COVID-19 cases. ‘COVID-19 is putting a lot of strain in our country’s health system, and many families and communities are being affected. As the country’s only PNG owned mining company and one of the largest corporate entities, we had to help by supporting Goroka Hospital with these important life-saving equipment which we hope will go a long way in assisting them during this pandemic,’ said OTML General Manager Community and Operations Support, Kedi Ilimbit. (Ok Tedi Mining Ltd)

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