In brief: Wafi-Golpu closes in on environmental permit and other business stories


Wafi-Golpu reportedly close to environmental permit, Kina Bank to launch capital fund for SMEs and PNG LNG delivers its highest production moment yet despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The business news you need to kickstart your week.


Work is in progress to present the proposed changes to the IPA Act (1992) at the next Parliament sitting (10-27 November), Clarence Hoot, Investment Promotion Authority‘s Managing Director, reportedly told The National. He also said that the revised IPA Act would include the reserved business activity list.


Water PNG in Madang is now using BSP EFTPOS machines to bring payment services to their customers, who can pay five kina or more towards their water accounts. The service also will help with the debt issue that some Water PNG customers in the area have. (Post-Courier)


The amendments to the Superannuation Act that allowed superannuation holders to access their savings if they were unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic haven’t been gazetted. To date, payments have not been processed, explained NASFUND’s CEO Ian Tarutia. He reportedly said: ‘since Parliament passed that, they have not actually gazetted that Act, meaning that it has not been given any legal effect and we, to date, cannot process any COVID-19 relief … At this stage we are still processing applications that we are currently allowed under the current provision.’ (Post-Courier)


Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the food industry, the Ilimo Dairy Farm, operated by Innovative Agro Industries, has expanded its line of products and created new markets. The new products, including Joi Juice and skim milk, have helped the company increase sales. Ilimo Dairy Farm also opened three new ice-cream shops and is eyeing shops in Mt Hagen, Wewak, Kokopo and Madang in the near future. (The National)

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Small business

Real Impact’s Virginia Bruce.

Last week, Prime Minister Marape delivered a cheque for K100 million to Bank South Pacific (BSP) for its SME low-cost loans. This is part of the K200 million stimulus that the government promised in April this year to help small and medium business struggling because of COVID-19. Another K100 million are yet to be delivered – K80 million to the National Development Bank and K20 million to the Department of Commerce and Industry. (Business Advantage PNG)


Kina Bank, which is not participating in the scheme, is launching its own SME capital fund to invest directly in SMEs, according to CEO Greg Pawson. (Business Advantage PNG)


USAID PNG’s Lukautim Graun Program (LGP) managing partner Cardo International Development (Cardno) and REAL Impact have joined forces to help accelerate development of PNG’s artisan creative industries and provide opportunities for growth for women and SMEs working in this industry. Cardno Chief of Party, Maurice Knight, said: ‘Cardno chose to partner with REAL and the Government of PNG to chase a share of the global US$32 billion (K112 billion) artisan market and deliver sustainable, natural resource-based livelihood creation for the people of PNG.’ REAL Impact is working with USAID’s LGP on a campaign to champion PNG’s diverse artisan skills. (Post-Courier)


The National reported that the Wafi-Golpu Joint Venture (WGJV) is set to get approval for an environmental permit, which in turn will pave the way for the State Negotiating Team and all other parties involved to start discussion with WGJV.

Minister for Environment, Conservation and Climate Changer, Wera Mori, reportedly said: ‘Upon granting of the Special Mining Lease, it will take at least five years to construct all necessary infrastructures at a cost of approximately US$5 billion (K17.48 billions) before the first ounce of gold and pound of copper are produced.’ At the time of writing, discussions on the type of tailings system for the project are ongoing.


Credit: Oil Search

Oil Search released its Q3 report, highlighting the performance of PNG LNG – which delivered its ‘highest first nine months of production since the project commenced in 2014’ – and a capital investment guidance lowered to US$390 million due to reduced exploration activities in its Alaska operations. In the report, Oil Search said that discussions between ExxonMobil, P’nyang’s operator, and the PNG Government are ongoing. The discussions aim to find ‘fair and balanced’ fiscal terms for the proposed P’nyang Gas Agreement. (PNGX)


The Government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will continue to follow COVID-19 restrictions, which include limited travel between places until 17 December to combat the spread of coronavirus in the region. Bougainville, reports RNZ, has so far recorded only one case of coronavirus.


During the Pacific Islands Forum, Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor said that there should be a focus on the economic recovery in the Pacific and that an economic recovery taskforce has been established. Dame Meg signalled that the digital economy will be part of the recovery, highlighting the importance of infrastructure, internet connectivity and the delivery of services to remote places. RNZ

Photograph of the week

Hundreds gathered in PNG to watch Justin Olam play his first NRL final! Congratulations Juzzy and team! For more images click here

Justin Olam and the Storm. Credit: Melbourne Storm via Facebook

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