By FRANK ASAELI of PNGPCL
THE overseas wharf extension at Lae port (pictured) is funded by PNG Ports Corporation (PNGPCL) and not the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as many people think.
The budget for the project is about K88 million, and variations to the project may see total costs exceed K90m.
PNGPCL chief executive officer Brian Riches said the project, being constructed by Nawae Construction, would not only cater for the multi-billion kina liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.
Mr Riches said although PNGPCL intended to provide port services for the LNG project, the extension of the wharf was earmarked well before the proposed LNG project for general incoming (import) and outgoing (export) overseas vessels.
“PNG Ports states the contract to Nawae Construction is valued at approximately K88.02m, with payments to date of K26.4m,” he said.
“Like all PNGPCL’s other ports, Lae port projects are undertaken as a result of either the deterioration of the existing facilities, or the need to extend these existing facilities to accommodate the increasing size and number of vessels annually in all ports or new facilities to meet our stakeholders’ requirements and to facilitate trade.
“This project signifies our understanding of stakeholders’ demand for maritime services and the requirement to facilitating trade growth.
“More than 80% of all export/import trade passes through our nation’s sea ports.
“PNGPCL takes the responsibility seriously in benchmarking port efficiency with other ports within the region.
“We also acknowledge we have to improve and expand our port facilities.”
Mr Riches said it was estimated that PNGPCL needed approximately K2-3 billion to rehabilitate its facilities across its network of 16 ports, which did not include the cost of the proposed