PNG Ports accelerates Lae Industrial Park build, as Stage 2 of port commences


Work on Lae’s Huon Industrial Park has been accelerated while stage two of the Lae Port development is on track to start by mid-2016, according to Stanley Alphonse, the CEO of PNG Ports Corporation, who spoke with Business Advantage PNG.


The Port of Lae. Credit: PNG Ports Corp.

Stage Two of the Lae Port development will involve constructing an extension to the international container wharf and providing additional facilities for cargo storage behind the wharf.

The name of the preferred tenderer to manage the port will be released soon, PNG Ports CEO, Stanley Alphonse, has told Business Advantage PNG.

The National newspaper reports the shortlist of preferred tenderers include China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd (CHEC), China State Construction and Hawkins PNG Ltd (which built the Kumul Flyover in Port Moresby).

The National also reports that major structural defects in Phase 1 of the Lae Tidal Basin project have delayed the start of Phase 2 of the billion-kina project.

The defects were uncovered by the Australian engineering company AECOM, which was contracted by the state-owned Kumul Consolidated Holdings Ltd. AECOM found that structural faults have prevented the K809 million facility from being fully utilised since construction was completed in late 2014.

Phase Two

The extension will provide a second berth of at least 240 metres in length (LOA). This is required for the terminal to be operated as efficiently as possible by an internationally experienced terminal operator. It will enable two vessels of up to 300 metres overall length (LOA) to berth at the same time.

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‘The second berth is expected to be built adjacent to the recently built container terminal. It will add a further 240-metre quay line capacity to what has already been delivered,’ Ports CEO Stanley Alphonse told Business Advantage PNG.

A key part of the overall Lae Port development is Huon Industrial Park, which will store wet (general fuels and chemicals) cargo, dry bulk materials and feed stocks. It will also be the base for a mineral export facility.

‘Due to strong demand, this estate is being accelerated and is a key Ports Corporation project for 2016–17,’ says Alphonse.

Stanley Alphonse, CEO, PNG Ports Authority

Stanley Alphonse, CEO, PNG Ports Corporation

‘PNG Ports has held some discussions with potential industrial tenants from mining, petroleum, power and fisheries and long-term concessions are currently being negotiated,’ Alphonse told the PNG Advantage Investment Summit in Brisbane last August.

‘Timing-wise, implementation should take place over the next five-year period, with the first development commencing in 2016.’

Management tender

Meanwhile, the process for appointing a successful tenderer to manage the port ‘is going well and on target’, he says.

‘The preferred tenderer will be announced in April. We have had strong interest from the four shortlisted parties after the site visits and briefing sessions and all have indicated their intention to submit bids.’

Last October, landowner companies engaged in the stevedoring business in Lae objected to the tender process, alleging that PNG Ports had only shortlisted foreign companies.

Alphonse says, however, that customary landowners and people within the affected areas ‘are an integral part of the process and their interests will be protected, consistent with government policy.’

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