Lae port expansion to be completed late 2019, says PNG Ports MD

An expansion of the Lae port in Papua New Guinea is expected to be completed in late 2019, says PNG Ports Corporation Managing Director, Stanley Alphonse. He tells Business Advantage PNG the K350 million project will include the greater Lae Tidal Basin Project and the Huon Industrial Park development in Lae.

Lae port, which is being expanded

Alphonse says the facilities at Lae in Morobe Province—PNG’s busiest port—will be expanding.

He says the West Lae Tidal River Basin project will be as big as the recently opened Motukea port in Port Moresby and will complement the Lae container terminal, which was opened in 2014.

The West Tidal Basin is part of the greater Lae Tidal Basin Project and the Huon Industrial Park development, he explains.

‘The non-containerised cargo will go on the other side, at the western tidal basin.

‘The contractor is on site, mobilisation has already begun and we expect the launching to be done very soon.

‘It will mean increased volumes and shorter ship turnaround times.’

Story continues after advertisment...

‘That will attract all the wet and dry bulk cargo over the other side [of PNG]. So, there are greater things in store for our main port down in Lae.’

The cost of the project is projected at K350 million.

Earlier this year, the Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) was awarded a 25-year contract to manage the international arms of ports on Motukea Island and the Lae Tidal Basin.

Volumes

Stanley Alphonse, MD, PNG Ports Authority

Alphonse says the two parts of the Lae facility will have different shipping operations.

‘On the eastern side (completed in 2014), we’ve got the Lae tidal basin container terminal (in operation).

‘Cargo volumes are increasing, along with ship sizes.’

‘The non-containerised cargo will go on the other side, at the Western tidal basin.’

He adds that PNG Ports is developing its operations in order to meet industry demands.

Cargo volumes are increasing, along with ship sizes.

Alphonse says PNG Ports has had to ‘make adjustments’ to cater for greater volumes, as well as ensure cost efficiency ‘all the way down to the grocery store level.’

CPI

The economic impact of the port expansions could be significant.

‘It is a fact that about 80-90 per cent of the items in the basket of commodities in the Consumer Price Index are shipped through sea ports.’

Chairman of PNG Ports Corporation, Sir Nathaniel Poya, believes the ports will increase GDP by 0.1 per cent next year, and by 2.69 per cent by 2027.

‘The improved efficiencies will bring down the prices of key imported commodities,’ said Poya.

‘It is a fact that about 80-90 per cent of the items in the basket of commodities in the Consumer Price Index are shipped through sea ports.’

Speak Your Mind

*