In brief: Parliament passes 10 Papua LNG Project Amendment Bills and other business stories


Parliament passes Papua LNG Project Amendments Bills, the Minister for Petroleum announces that the P’nyang gas field project will be a standalone one, and Twinza Oil says it expects the first production of liquids from the Pasca A condensate gas field by 2022. Your weekly digest of business news.

The Antelope gas field in Gulf Province, part of the Papua LNG project.

Last week, Parliament passed 10 Papua LNG Project Amendment Bills, a requirement of the Papua LNG agreement that was signed in April this year between the government then led by Peter O’Neill and the companies behind the project (Total, ExxonMobil and Oil Search).

The 10 Bills are: Income Tax (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Income tax, Dividend (WithHolding) Tax and Interest (Withholding) Tax Rates (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Stamp Duties (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Goods and Services Tax (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Excise Tariff (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Customs Tariff (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Resources Contract Fiscal Stabilisation (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Insurance (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, Prices Regulation (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019, and Konebada Petroleum Park Authority (Papua LNG Project) (Amendment) Bill 2019. (Post Courier)


Minister for Petroleum Kerenga Kua announced that the ExxonMobil-led P’nyang gas field development in the Western Highlands and the third liquefied natural gas (LNG) train at the PNG LNG plant near Papua New Guinea’s capital is going to be treated as a standalone project. The Minister also said that the concessions made for PNG LNG and Papua LNG won’t be available for P’nyang, delivering what are expected be better tax and economic benefits for the country. (Oil & Gas Journal)


Map of Twinza Oil site in Gulf of Papua

Twinza Oil Managing Director, Huw Evans, said he is expecting the first liquids production from the Pasca A gas condensate field, the first off-shore development in PNG, by 2022. In September 2019, a ministerial determination was signed but Twinza Oil is still working towards the granting of the petroleum development license (PDL) and the signing of the Pasca Gas Agreement.

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According to Evans, company representatives are working with the Department of Petroleum and the Minister for Petroleum to make sure the negotiations for the Gas Agreement conclude as early as possible, which might lead to the award of the petroleum development license before the end of 2019. (The National)


Bank South Pacific (BSP) in partnership with Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) has launched a leadership and management development program for its staff. ABV will be matching skilled mentors from its network with employees across BSP’s branches in Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands. They will work together for 12 months focusing on ‘grooming and preparing a pool of high potential staff to take up senior leadership roles within the bank’. (The National)


A warrant for arrest has been issued for former PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Last week, he obtained an interim court order preventing his arrest. The police statement released after the warrant did not reveal specifics. (ABC)


Papua New Guinean PhD student in Chemistry Yalinu Poya is one of the 25 global awardees of the 2019 Green Talents Competition, which is being held in Germany. The event showcases cutting edge projects in the field of sustainable development. Poya’s research focuses on metal catalysts for ammonia synthesis using a process known as Haber-Bosch, which is essential for fertiliser production. She was selected both for her project and fresh approach to a sustainable future. (Green Talents Competition)


26th APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting 2019. Credit: APEC

The Finance Ministers of the economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) released a joint ministerial statement last week after the 26th APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting 2019, which was held in Santiago, Chile. In the statement, they emphasise the importance of international trade and continue to recognise the importance of cooperation in fostering tax certainty and transparency – you can access it here.


The state-owned company Kumul Telikom Holdings (KTH) has plans to cut costs and increase revenue. KTH’s Interim Group Managing Director Mosey Sau say this is to respond to the 2019 Supplementary Budget which means ‘all state-owned entities should step up’.

KTH’s union is planning a stop-work protest if the Goverment fails to meet its demands: appointment of a new KTH board, have bmobile become a subsidiary and return 4G LTE mobile business to Telikom PNG and reinstatement of five Telikom PNG employees, among others. The board, according to Sau, is willing to cooperate with the union. He said: ‘We’ve gone through a lot of hurdles since the National Executive Council decided that we should have this restructure of the communication companies owned by the government. We have had to deal with a lot of legacy, financial and political issues.’ (The National)


The French territory of New Caledonia is preparing for its second independence referendum. Loyalists and independence groups have agreed that the second referendum will be held on 30 August or 6 September 2020, with a final date soon to be announced. If the answer is ‘no to independence’ another two votes can be held before 2022. A third referendum would need to take place before September 2021 or after August 2022 to avoid coinciding with French national elections. (Lowy Institute)


Photograph of the week

Prime Minister James Marape [third from left to right] attended the ground breaking ceremony on 15 October. Credit: Steamships

The ground breaking ceremony for Steamships’ Harbourside South project took place on 15 October. Harbourside South is a K250 million kina project in Harbourside Precinct in Port Moresby. The 21-level tower was designed by Cullen Feng Architects, in Sydney, Australia, and includes boutique retail spaces, 88 serviced apartments and more premium commercial and dining space. The project is expected to be completed by May 2022.  (Steamships Trading Company)

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