Friday, September 18, 2015

Labu and Ahi landowner companies join forces

Landowner companies from the Labu and Ahi villages of Lae have joined forces to create a new joint-venture company.
The two companies, Labu Holdings Ltd and Ahi Holdings Ltd, have formed a new JV called Morobe International Terminal Ltd to bid for terminal management at the new Lae Port Tidal Basin.
Labu Holdings and Ahi Holdings have a stranglehold on stevedoring at the Lae Port through their respective partnerships with Steamships Trading Company Ltd and Consort Shipping Ltd.
Hundreds of young people from the three Labu villages of Butu, Miti and Tale and the six Ahi villages of Butibam, Hengali, Kamkumung, Yanga, Wagang, and Yalu enjoy well-paid jobs on the waterfront through this arrangement.
Labu Holdings is 50-50 into a partnership with Rabaul Stevedores (100 per cent owned by Steamships) in a company called Lae Port Services Ltd, while Ahi Holdings is likewise 50-50 into a partnership with Consort in a company called Riback Stevedores Ltd.
Company representatives on Tuesday handed over their expression of interest to PNG Ports Corporation.
Labu Holdings and Ahi Holdings joined forces in 2013 to stop a bid by a foreign company, Patricks, to take over stevedoring operations at Lae Port.
"What (PNG) Ports was really asking was for us to merge the terminal operations for Riback and Lae Port Services," Ahi Investment chairman and Riback operations manager George Gware told The National.
"For that to happen, we need to agree on asset contribution, equipment that Riback has got and Lae Port has got, pool those equipment, and have a workshop and services in place so that we can actually maintain those equipment.
"The important thing is staffing, something that we will really have to work through, and consult the unions as well.
"This is because when that happens, some of the Riback and Lae Port staff may have to go, and we will just pick the core people that we can put into this new entity.
"We have formed a company called Morobe International Terminal, which will be the joint terminal handling company, while in terms of stevedoring we will still maintain Riback and we will still maintain Lae Port.
"They will only perform the stevedoring function, which is unloading and loading ships, but as the containers land on the wharf that's when Morobe International Terminal will take over."
Labu Holdings chairman Nasinom Dau said the people of Labu stood united together with the people of Ahi in the new JV.
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