By MALUM NALU
The PNG Sustainable Development Program has ambitious plans for the proposed Daru international deep sea port, including the development of an LNG plant, The National reports.
This is with the likelihood that Western province could soon become the next frontier of PNG LNG project expansion following on from the Southern Highlands.
Western is already becoming a multi-million dollar oil and gas exploration ground for companies such as New Guinea Energy, Talisman Energy Inc, Mitsubishi Corporation, Esso PNG Exploration Ltd and Oil Search.
The proposed Daru international port could also support the creation of an industrial hub at nearby Oriomo, be the point of export for Ok Tedi mine with mine life now extended to 2024, and be the port for the proposed Purari hydroelectric project in neighbouring Gulf province.
The project got off to a start last Friday with a groundbreaking ceremony at Tawo’o Point in Daru by PNGSDP CEO, David Sode, for the first stage of the project at a cost of K15 million.
|Sode (left) speaking at the launching of the first stage of the proposed Daru international deep sea port at Tawo’o Point last Friday.-Nationalpic by MALUM NALU|
According to a PNGSDP information paper, it had been developing the Daru Port project over a number of years.
“Having undertaken considerable work to de-risk the project, PNGSDP is now seeking a partner(s) for the construction and operation of the port,” it said.
“The Daru port project represents a considerable investment by PNGSDP in the transformation of the Western province economy and is expected to be a commercial business in its own right.
“The port will enable the creation of an industrial hub at Oriomo and support the development of an LNG plant at Daru.”
The paper said PNGSDP first began work on the Daru Port concept in December 2005.
“In 2008, tenders were called for a port design that included 78ha of reclaimed land and approximately 400m of quay face,” it said,
Because of various factors, PNGSDP decided that the project should be placed on hold until after the Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) mine life extension (MLE) feasibility study was completed.
“In 2010, PNGSDP decided to invest US$14 million in geotechnical surveying and analysis that would resolve some of the uncertainties that had been revealed in the previous tendering,” the paper said.
“This surveying programme is nearing completion and, together with ongoing discussions with potential customers, has informed a new master plan for the port.”
Objectives of the geotechnical survey include:
· Establishing the level of dredging required for deep water access to the port;
· Establishing the availability of material that can be used for land reclamation, collecting data for sedimentation and current modeling;
· Collecting data that can inform the port’s structural design and identifying fresh water sources on Daru Island; and
· Identifying a source of quarryable rock close to Daru.