He met the representatives from Sapmer-Piriou Joint Venture in Singapore last month.
The joint venture intends to go into a fish-processing facility in PNG.
“Sapmer-Pirious Joint Venture will build a 300m-long fisheries wharf, a value-added tuna processing plant, a 400m dry dock and a shipyard,” Maru said.
“The total cost of their investment is about US$500 million.
“The company has expressed strong interest to lease land at the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ, in Madang).
“Negotiations are being finalised for a project agreement to be signed between the project promoter and the state.”
Maru said this was important, given the duty-free access market into the European Union market for PNG canned tuna and tuna loins, with the project expected to employ about 2,500 people.
“I am very supportive and keen on this project and have proposed to the investors to also include a shipbuilding yard as the first in the country and to teach our people on new trades,” he said.
“The company has shipbuilding operations in Vietnam and Nigeria and I’m insisting that similar operations be merged with the fish-processing plant.”
Maru said the company must also include a waste management processing facility in its plant to avoid environmental damage.
He said the project, when implemented, would be the anchor investment project at PMIZ.