PAPUA New Guinea should build on its own capacity to partner with resource developers in a meaningful way rather than become tax and royalty collectors, according to Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Ben Micah.
He said this during the swearing in of board members of state-owned National Petroleum Company of PNG (NPCP), which owns 16.6% of the PNG LNG Project, last Friday.
The board is chaired by Kramer Ausenco chief executive officer Frank Kramer, with board members that included Trans Wonderland managing director Larry Andagali, Public Enterprises secretary Mathias Lasia, Mineral Resources Lihir (MRL) chairman Mark Soipang, scientist Dr Benedict Yaru, PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum president Dr Ila Temu and NPCP management led by Wapu Sonk in his capacity as acting managing director.
|Kramer takes his oath of officer as Sonk, Lasia, Yaru (obscured), Andagali, Soipang and Temu look on.-Picture by MALUM NALU|
NPCP, formerly known as Kroton in 2008, is the company nominated by the state to participate in the PNG LNG project.
It was revived by the national executive council just three weeks ago.
In November 2011, following the Aug 2 change in government, NEC moved to shelve NPCP and its employees were transferred to IPBC.
“Our (government) view is that PNG should build on the balance sheet of NPCP and build our own capacity to partner our resource developers in a meaningful manner and not become tax and royalty partners,” Micah said.
“This is why NPCP was revived by NEC three weeks ago.”
Micah said he was confident the board and management of NPCP would:
n Start laying foundations for the company to grow and potentially match Malaysian-owned Petronas one day;
n Pay dividends to the state through the sovereign wealth fund (SWF);
n Drive other development agenda with the government;
n Develop technical, commercial, and legal skills that were critical to success for a company involved in oil and gas extraction;
n Lead in commercial negotiations for future development projects in PNG; and
n Lead in human resource development.
Kramer said the challenges ahead were significant.
“The foundation framework for NPCP must be completed,” he said.
“Legislative support to allow the company to operate autonomously with international levels of governance and accountability must now follow.
“Other projects such as Train 3 on the PNG LNG, the Gulf LNG, and the Stanley condensate stripping plant project are on the heels of the trailblazer PNG LNG.
“This means that NPCP must be operationally ready to step up and play its part in this exciting period in PNG’s development.”
Kramer said the PNG LNG project was unquestionably the largest, most-difficult, most capital-intensive resources project ever undertaken in the history of a young country like PNG.
“It has brought the biggest and arguably the best global players in the hydrocarbon space to our shores,” he said.