In brief: Kavieng Airport in New Ireland Province set for an upgrade and other business stories


The National Airport Corporation signs an agreement to upgrade Kavieng Airport, NKW Fresh signs a deal to support farmers in Morobe Province and Air Niugini turns around K133 million loss in 2018 to a profit. The news you need to kickstart your week.

Credit: Air Niugini


The Women’s Micro Bank has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with NKW Fresh to provide small loans to farmers in Bulolo, Morobe Province, to buy machinery.  (EMTV)


The World Bank has announced an ‘initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support’ for member countries dealing with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus COVID-19. ‘We are working to provide a fast, flexible response based on developing country needs in dealing with the spread of COVID-19,’ said World Bank Group President David Malpass. ‘This includes emergency financing, policy advice, and technical assistance, building on the World Bank Group’s existing instruments and expertise to help countries respond to the crisis.’ At the time of writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in PNG.

Superannuation funds

Nambawan Super’s new logo. Credit: Nambawan/Linkedin

Nambawan Super has launched its new image. The new logo ‘references the origin of the fund’ and uses the same colour palette as the PNG flag. ‘Our new campaign celebrates our everyday ambassadors – our members,’ said Nambawan Super on its Linkedin page.

Pacific region

Four Parliamentary inquiries into Australia’s relationship with the Pacific have shown that the Australian government is concerned about its relation with the region, particularly Fiji and Papua New Guinea. These two countries haven’t signed the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) saying it is a ‘lopsided’ deal that doesn’t meet their needs but advantages Australia and New Zealand, according to a statement by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET). ‘We can only hope that the multiple parliamentary inquiries will provide an opportunity for the government to actually listen and understand the real needs and priorities of the Pacific. AFTINET will be making a submission to the trade inquiry,’ said AFTINET’s Dr Patricia Ranald in a statement.


Flights to Rabaul’s Tokua airport have been scaled back because the National Airport Corporation (NAC) is upgrading the runway. The upgrade work commenced of 24 February and will continue until 16 June. More information can be found here.


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Representatives signing the contract to upgrade Kaviend Airport. Credit: LOOP

PNG’s State, China Railway Construction Engineering Group and the National Airports Corporation (NAC) signed a K90 million contract to upgrade Kavieng Airport in New Ireland Province. NAC’s Acting Manager, Ephraim Wasem, reportedly said the upgrade is to include aircraft pavement and strengthening, runway extension, a new terminal building and airfield ground lighting. (LOOP PNG)


alan milne

Air Niugini’s Alan Milne. Credit: Air Niugini

PNG’s national airline, Air Niugini, announced a profit of K500,000 off the back of a K133 million (A$56 million) turnaround. This is a historical turning point for the company under the leadership of Managing Director Alan Milne, who introduced a number of initiatives including the Higher Altitude program, which ‘contributed more than K20 million savings in the first three months of being implemented’. Milne said: ‘Air Niugini is a good airline but as a team we want to make this a great airline. I think this result is a huge step in that direction.’ (Air Niugini)

Company reports

PanAust has released its December Quarter 2019 report highlighting a strong year with and a ’30 per cent improvement on the 2018 safety metrics’. The document also mentions advancements in the Frieda River copper-gold project. According to the report, the company ‘continues to progress project permitting’; on 11 November, phase one of the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) statutory awareness campaign was completed and the second phase is planned for the first half of this year. According to PanAust, CEPA is independently reviewing the Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the proposed dam. Read the report here.


BSP Solomon Islands announced its full year results for 2019. Loan portfolio increased by 4.7 per cent and total income increased by $10.5 million to $231 million. Net profit after tax was $94.1 million. BSP Solomon Islands Country Head, David Anderson, said: ‘2019 saw a slight reduction in Net Profit after tan to $94.1 million. The decrease was mainly a result of the softening economic position in the Solomon Islands and also an increase in operational expenditure in the business.’


The Porgera Joint Venture has delivered strong operational and financial results for 2019. The mine exceeded budgeted gold production by 16,000 ounces. Barrik Niugini’s General Manager – Corporate and Legal, Anthony Smare, said: ‘In terms of both operational and financial performance, 2019 has been one of Porgera’s best years for more than a decade, with a total of 597,000 ounces of gold production at an all sustaining cost of US$1,002 per ounce and direct operating costs on target at US$338 million.’ (Post-Courier)


BSP’s 2019 full year report. Credit: BSP

Bank South Pacific (BSP) also unveiled its 2019 report, with a group consolidated profit after tax of K890 million. The bank’s assets increased by 6.2 per cent to K24.5 billion. Total assets increased 6.2 per cent and loans up 5.6 per cent. The bank also highlighted that it will continue to focus on its digital strategy. (BSP)


Newcrest has finalised the sale of 100 per cent of Newcrest Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd (NSH) to Indotan Halmahera Bangkit (Indotan) for $90 million. The company has received $ 60 million; the remaining $30 million are payable in 18 months. (PNGX)


Solan Mirisim, Minister for Forestry, has committed funds of K500,000 to the Maprik district development authority for a reforestation program in the district. (Post-Courier)


Photograph of the week

Launch of the Spotlight Initiative. Credit: UNAIDS PNG/Twitter


The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina J. Mohammed, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyina, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, and PNG’s Deputy Prime Minister David M. Steven launched the Global Spotlight initiative at Gordons Market on 8 March #IWD2020. The initiative is a partnership between the European Union and the United Nations and its goal is to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

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