In brief: Papua New Guinea ends talks with Exxon on P’nyang agreement, and other business stories


Papua New Guinea says no to P’nyang gas project, Prime Minister James Marape confident in ‘five-train LNG’ and new date for plastic bag ban. The business news you need to kick-start your week.

The PNG LNG projects gas conditioning plant at Hides in Southern Highlands Province. Credit: ExxonMobil/Richard Dellman


Last week during a business breakfast, Prime Minister James Marape said a third LNG train was still a possibility. ‘The possibility of five-train LNG in our country looks positive, whether it is from P’nyang or other fields.’ Marape told the business community that he was confident that the French major Total SA would still invest in the Papua LNG Project. He also flagged a new agreemernt for the Wafi-Golpu project. (Business Advantage PNG)


Prime Minister James Marape. Credit: James Marape/Facebook

PNG has called off negotiations with ExxonMobil regarding the P’nyang gas project in Western Province. (Business Advantage PNG)


Oil Search has unveiled its fourth quarter report for the period ended in December 2019. During the period, the company saw a 24 per cent increase in its fourth quarter revenue and had a record gross production of 8.5 metric tonnes of LNG. This was despite scheduled plant maintenance in the second quarter and repairs at the Kumul Marine Terminal offshore liquids loading facility in the third quarter. (Oil Search)


The Managing Director of the National Development Bank, Moses Liu, said that the bank is ‘looking at either fully commercialising or partly commercialising operations’. The bank’s restructure is aimed at generating more returns and is part of the initiative for state-owned enterprises, led by Sasindran Muthuvel, Minister for State Enterprises. ‘We cannot continue to rely on the Government,’ Liu said. ‘We should be operating as a private business.’ The details of the restructure may be disclosed at the end of the first quarter. (The National)

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The Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) will publish in late March the names of another 5,000 companies that haven’t filed their annual returns; businesses that do not comply will be deregistered, according to the IPA’s Acting Registrar of Companies, Harriet Kokiva. Last year, the IPA published a list of 5000 defaulting companies and has since deregistered over 4,700. Companies that want to be reinstated can apply for through the registrar within six years following deregistration. (Post-Courier)


Dirio Gas & Power Company Ltd (Dirio) has been granted an electricity generation licence to generate and sell power to PNG Power Ltd for its Port Moresby grid. The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) received the application in September 2019. ICCC’s CEO, Paulus Ain, said: ‘Dirio will generate 31.58 megawatts from its 42.2MW full capacity gas-fired power plant … The gas will be supplied by ExxonMobil PNG Ltd through a Gas Sales Agreement between ExxonMobil and Dirio.’ (ICCC)


An agriculture value-chain development program will be carried out in East Sepik and the Mamose region. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations will roll out the program, which is funded by the European Union. The program, according to The National, is the ‘largest EU-funded program in the Pacific’ and seeks to support rural entrepreneurship, investment and trade.


Officials break ground to mark the launching of the market project. Credit: Australian High Commission PNG

The Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership and the West New Britain Provincial government have joined forces to redevelop the Kimbe Town market. Australia has given K11 million to support the project and Sasindran Muthuvel, Minister for State-Owned Enterprises, committed K5 million from the Provincial Services Improvement Program. (Australian High Commission)


After discussion with producers and importers of single-use plastic bags, Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate, Wera Mori, announced that PNG’s plastic ban has been postponed for 45 days and will come into effect on March 16. ‘Any individual or entities found to continue importing, manufacturing or retailing the single-use plastic shopping bags after the prescribed dates will face the law,’ explained Mori. (The National)

Photograph of the week

Credit: Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture

Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV), in partnership with the Lae City Authority and the Morobe Provincial Government has installed three billboards in Lae promoting the reduction of single-plastic use.

The billboards feature three winning drawings from a poster competition hosted by WGJV during last year’s World Environment Day.

WGJV’s Head of External Affairs, David Wissink, said: ‘As we can clearly see around us, single plastic disposal is a significant problem for Lae and hence we want to help remind people to stop using plastics and turn to using biodegradable or reusable bags. Besides, with all the bilums in the country why would you need plastic bags?’ he asked.


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