Friday, July 16, 2010

Local firms missing out

INTERNATIONAL companies engaged in early work of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects are “killing” of local contractors, The National reports.

The issue came to light at the recent Highlands regional Consultative Implementation Coordinating Committee forum in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.

Civil Contractors Pacific Ltd (Civpac) general manager Dickson Tasi said international contractors came with nothing and hired equipment and personnel from locals.

The international contractors used Civpac, a local company specialising in drilling and blasting in Kikori, for six months and then stood them down.

They told Civpac they were bringing in their own machines and equipment.

 “They have hired barges to accommodate personnel, with no offices in Papua New Guinea and operate from offices in Australia and elsewhere, communicating via email and telephone.

“This is the kind of treatment we (local contractors) are getting from our international contractors. The national content plan is media propaganda and only geared towards local labour hire.

“There is very little or no participation or benefit to landowner companies or PNG businesses,” Tasi told forum participants.

“We are now just watching these foreigners and their equipment working on our land, earning millions of kina to be taken overseas and they will eventually pack up and leave after making enough.

“This is a typical example of international expertise that have been over the years, reaping the goodies from this country, leaving nothing tangible for PNG national companies,” he said.

Tasi said if Civpac, a big company owned by locals from the project area in Gobe to miss out, there was little hope for smaller companies starting up hoping to win contracts with the seed capital from the government.

He said the LNG project’s national content plan should be given real meaning.


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