By PATRICK TALU
PAPUA New Guinea's petroleum and mining company Petromin Holdings Ltd paid out its final dividend of K1.5 million to the state last Friday, The National reports.
After recording a K81.5 million profit for last year, K1.5 million was paid to the trustee shareholder, the prime minister, at the 4th annual general meeting in Port Moresby's Gateway Hotel.
Petromin chairman Brown Bai said that although there were constant cash call requirements for the company's investment in the PNG LNG and Elk-Antelope projects as well as reinvesting in the Tolukuma gold mine, funding of mineral exploration budget and ongoing training and development of its legal and commercial people, it still could afford to pay a final dividend.
Bai said that the dividend was an addition payment to a total of K22.9 million tax paid by the group last year.
Mining Minister John Pundari, who was not present to receive the cheque on behalf of the state said he was proud to see a nationally-owned company performing at that level.
Pundari said Petromin was the brainchild of Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare with a vision to make Petromin the vehicles to drive all hydrocarbon and mining industry in PNG.
Given the purpose for the creation of Petromin, Pundari said he wanted to see Petromin become a leader in the mineral and hydrocarbon industry in PNG and the Asia-Pacific region.
"Petromin was created to drive the commercial interest of the government on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea."
Pundari challenged Petromin to be at the forefront of the industry and emulate major industries like Singapore and China, who had a track record of nationally-owned hydrocarbon and mining companies.
Meanwhile, the board had retained Bai as the chairman for another term while chief executive officer and managing director Joshua Kalinoe was also retained for a further four-year term.
Other directors reappointed were Sumassy Singin and Jerry Wemin for another term while Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu was reappointed as the company's auditor.