China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd has been awarded a contractor worth more than K700, 000 for a major expansion and redevelopment of Lae port.
|An aerial view of the busy Lae port with mv Pacific Navigator at berth.-Picture by PETER BOYD of RIBACK STEVEDORES|
The contract was approved by the national executive council.
Public Enterprises Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, said yesterday (Thursday) that China Harbor Engineering was the lowest bidder for the contract, worth K734, 343,882.
The project is being funded 70% by Asian Development Bank and 30% by the national government.
“This is a very significant contract for the nation, and especially for the Momase-Highlands region,” Sir Mekere said.
“Lae port cannot meet current demand, and is becoming an impediment to the economic development of the region.
“Redevelopment and expansion of the port is urgently required so that many large regional projects, including the LNG project, can be built on time and at a competitive cost.
“It will also spur other economic development in the region, including agriculture, by helping to lower the cost of taking goods to local and international markets as well as reducing the transport costs of inputs.”
Sir Mekere said the NEC decision also required China Harbor Engineering Company to agree to have a significant proportion of national labor in its workforce and to employ PNG sub-contractors.
The main element of the project is the construction of new port facilities including a tidal basin, a berth and a terminal.
Work is expected to start in the middle of this year and finish towards the end of 2015.
“Lae port accounts for more than 60% of Papua New Guinea trade, so the completion of this project will have a very beneficial impact on our national competitiveness, and will help to limit increases in the price of goods and services across the Momase-Highlands region,” Sir Mekere said.
“It is one of the most-significant national projects to go ahead under the O’Neill-Namah government.”