In brief: Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister says P’nyang project could be a ‘win-win’ and other business stories


Prime Minister James Marape to visit ExxonMobil’s headquarters, Telikom/bmobile merger to be finalised this month, and delays in Porgera’s reopening. The business news you need today.

Credit: Zijing Mining


There are plans for a K3 million hydropower station in Milne Bay Province to provide electricity to Goodenough Island and benefit the people of Kiriwina-Goodenough. MP Douglas Tomuriesa reportedly said that the project has been contracted and K38,000 have been ‘recently paid’ to the contractor. The project, he said, ‘will bring in somewhere between 4.5 megawatts and 6 megawatts of power’ to the region. (The National)


Telikom PNG Acting Chief Executive Officer, Amos Tepi, has been quoted as saying that the Telikom-bmobile merger is expected to be completed at the end of September. He said the merger is about 85 per cent complete with those involved ‘just looking at the regulatory and legal aspects and once that is over, we are going over the line so we should meet the deadline.’ (The National)


Prime Minister James Marape announced that PNG’s telecommunications company, Kumul Telikom Holdings Limited (KTHL), will be abolished. All telecommunications will now come under the new entity Telikom Limited.

Marape reportedly said: ‘This follows a National Executive Council (NEC) decision in June 2021, approving the abolition of KTHL and reinforcing earlier NEC decisions to merge Telikom and bmobile into a separate company, Telikom Ltd.’

The Prime Minister also said PNG DataCo will continue to be a wholesale telecommunications company and will look after international satellite and optic fibre connections. (Post-Courier)

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On 16 September, Prime Minister Marape gave an update on Porgera and the road ahead for its reopening,

Marape said that important milestones have been progressed but that there are still ‘key legal agreements and commercial discussions and exchanges with the State, Kumul and the Barrick Team, which need to be concluded correctly.’

The PM acknowledged that the deadline ‘has now surpassed’ PNG but that rushing through the agreements is not ideal’. He said that apart for the Commencement Agreement, the teams have been working of the Operatorship Agreement and Mining Development Contract.

Marape said: ‘The Government has decided that we are in partnership with Barrick and therefore we remain committed to full terms of the framework agreement. We would like to ensure that all the agreements and arrangements are concluded within this month.’ (Department of Prime Minister Marape & NEC)


The PM  has travelled to the US to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York and to pursue further talks with ExxonMobil on the P’nyang project in Western Province. Marape reportedly said: ‘If I could win above present thresholds, as far as where our laws allow, or winning better than the PNG LNG and Papua LNG, we will come back with news on how P’nyang will be.’

‘But we will be pushing hard on ExxonMobil,’ he added.

Marape is set to visit ExxonMobil’s headquarters in Houston, Texas. He is quoted as saying that this could be a ‘win-win for us, a win-win for them that embraces also the PNG LNG area footprint and legacies.’ Once negations are completed, he explained, ‘we should [know] how P’nyang will feature.’ (The National)


Air Niugini has announced changes to its Port Moresby to Manila services because the Philippines Government has placed a two week ban on all PNG flights. The ban comes days after the PNG government announced an increase in COVID-19 cases. The airline said in a statement that ‘all passengers presently booked to travel from Port Moresby to Manila on flights departing between 19 – 30 September should contact Air Niugini or travel agent to rebook onto the next available flights. (Air Niugini)


Fitch Solution PNG

PNG’s real GDP growth in percentages (2018-2024). Credit: Fitch Solutions

Fitch Solution is forecasting a GDP of 2.4 per cent in 2021, rising to 4.4 per cent in 2022. Although uncertain times remain because of the threat of a ‘severe’ COVID-19 outbreak in the country and the upcoming election, Fitch suggests these number because there have been advancements in talks with energy firms that have increased business confidence. (Fitch Solutions)

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