By MALUM NALU
The Asian Development Bank is making improvements in screening how its loans to Papua New Guinea are used, according to its head of PNG portfolio resources management Allan Lee.
He said this on Wednesday when revealing that ADA has to date provided 75 loans worth US$1.5 billion to PNG, with US$657 million of this active in 2012.
Lee said project portfolio improvements included:
• Intensive community participation efforts;
• Improved procurement capacity of project agencies; and
• Active government support in project procurement approvals and timely counterpart funding.
He gave a comprehensive presentation of its PNG 2012 portfolio at ADB’s PNG year-in-review at the Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby on Wednesday.
From the 75 loans worth US$1, 516.4 million, 19 are active sovereign project loans worth US$657 million; 153 technical assistance worth US$82.4 million, 13 of which are active and worth US$9.6 million; and one grant-finance project worth US$15 million for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control in Rural Development Enclaves.
Projects worth US$ 481 million administered by ADB PNG Resident Mission are Community Water Transport (US$19 million), Road Maintenance and Upgrading (US$53 million), Lae Port Development (US$189 million), Highlands Region Road Improvement Investment (US$100 million, Tranche 1), Civil Aviation Development Investment (US$95 million, Tranche 1), and Pilot Border Trade and Investment Development (US$25 million).
|Heavy dredging equipment at Lae port.
Projects worth US$163 million administered directly by ADD headquarters in Manila, Philippines, are Town Electrification Investment Program (US$157 million, Tranche 1), Bridge Replacement for Improved Rural Access (US$87 million), and Rural Primary Health Services Delivery (US$19 million).
The one project administered by ADB’s Pacific Liaison Office in Sydney is Microfinance Expansion (US$13 million).
Apart from these active sovereign project loans worth US$657 million, ADB has also lent money to Digicel (US$18 million), bemobile (US$40 million); Grant Financed US$15 million; Other Cofinancing US$83.2 million; and carried out technical assistance operations worth US$9.6 million.
This brings the total PNG portfolio to US$822.8 million.
Lee said as of November 30, 2012, ADB had projected contract awards of US$298.5 million but actually awarded contracts worth US$329.5 million, which was 110% higher.
Papua New Guinea has been a member of ADB since 1971, with the bank opening its PNG office in 2003.