In brief: Kumul Submarine Cable System completes connections and other business stories


The Kumul Submarine Cable lands in Bougainville, the Pasca A gas project is on its way to becoming the first offshore field development in PNG and the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority reveals the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism industry. The business news you need to kickstart your week.

The Kumul Submarine Cable lands in Arawa. Credit: PNGDataCo/Linkedin


The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority has conducted a Tourism Industry Business Impact Survey to show the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had in the PNG tourism industry. Out of 43 respondents, 95 per cent admitted their business had been affected. According to the survey, K67.91 million have been lost and 1,209 employees have been laid off.(PNG Tourism Promotion Authority)


MiBank has announced that it will reschedule the repayment of loans for up to three months for borrowers affected by the pandemic. ‘As an industry, we responded to the Government’s call to provide repayment relief for those borrowers genuinely impacted by the COVID-19 on a case by case basis,’ said Tony Westaway, MiBank’s CEO. (The National )


The state of emergency has disrupted the operations of the agriculture and livestock sectors. For example, Zenag Chickens, one of PNG’s major poultry suppliers, has lost ‘about 50 per cent of its sales,’ reports the Post-Courier. In response, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is working on a rescue plan for the businesses affected by the state of emergency. (Post-Courier)


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Last week, the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGCCI) said that the government has to step up to assist businesses in these difficult times. ‘PNGCCI calls on the national government to address these concerns in the forthcoming supplementary budget,’ said John Leahy, President of the PNGCCI. (Post-Courier)


Retailer Brian Bell is acknowledging the hard work of frontline workers and has announced a 30 per cent discount on all products. ‘It’s only appropriate we look to help where we can to provide a little reward for all those hard working individuals who have put their lives at risk for the sake of everyone’s health and wellbeing, said CEO Cameron Mackellar. (The National)


A partnership between the Fresh Produce Development Agency and the Southern Highlands Provincial Government will assist farmers in the Southern Highlands Province to grow and cultivate potatoes. (LOOP PNG)


With three provinces (Southern Highlands, Enga and Hela) confirming cases of African swine fever and reports indicating the disease is spreading to the Southern Highlands and the Western Highlands, the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority is launching awareness campaigns for pig farmers and owners in the areas where the disease has been declared to make sure they know how to deal with the African swine flu and stop the spread. (Post Courier)


NASFUND has opened a new client service centre located in Lakatoi Haus, Waigani. The centre, according to NASFUND’s CEO Ian Tarutia, has opened ahead of schedule given the increased demand in services since the declaration of the state of emergency. (Post-Courier)


Fuel prices are the lowest they have been in PNG for over a decade, according to Puma Energy’s Hulala Tokome. He said that Puma has ‘not had any issues in terms of fuel supply or stock out issues in country.’ (The National)


Credit: Twinza Oil

Twinza Oil’s offshore project, the Pasca A gas condensate field in the Gulf of Papua, is on its way to becoming the first offshore field development in PNG.

Prime Minister Marape has said that the National Executive Committee (NEC) has endorsed the submission for the development of the project, and Twinza has welcomed the announcement.

Ian Munro, CEO of Twinza, said: ‘We have been working constructively on the Pasca A development with the Department of Petroleum and Energy and I am delighted that this co-operation has brought us to the point where we are now on the verge of opening the Gulf of Papua to its first production and a new wave of offshore exploration drilling.’ (Twinza)


The Kumul Submarine Cable landed in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville on 18 May, marking the completion of the Kumul Submarine Cable Network (KSCN) system 1. The cable now connects all New Guinea islands. (LOOP PNG)


Digicel has discarded its plans to get holders of US$925 million (K3,189 million) of bonds due for repayment in 2023 to ‘take some pain in the group’s debt restructuring plan,’ reports The Irish Times. Fewer than 8 per cent of the bond holders signed up to take part in the deal.


Former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was arrested on Saturday at Port Moresby’s Jackson International Airport on claims of misappropriation. The allegations are related to the purchase of two 15-megawatt generators from an Israeli company for K50 million. O’Neill was released on bail after police questioning and will be on a 14-day quarantine in his home to comply with COVID-19 regulations. O’Neil reportedly said: ‘I look forward to having my day in court soon so that the truth can prevail and this injustice corrected and exposed.’ (ABC)

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