Thursday, September 30, 2010

Marine industrial zone close to reality



Papua New Guinea is poised to be the tuna hub of the Pacific and the world in the coming years as a result of the contract signing of phase one of the construction of Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project in Vidar, Madang, The National reports.

Commerce and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris made these remarks during the signing of the general contract between the PNG government and the international contractor Shenyang International Economic & Technical Cooperation company of China at Government House yesterday.

“The signing of the contract between both parties is close to complete and the process of evaluation by the China Export Import (Exim) Bank is to allow for the draw-down of US$74 million to construct PMIZ infrastructure.

“The PMIZ project is an initiative of the national government through the ministry of Commerce and Industries and National Fisheries Authority.

“Phase one of the project will be at the cost of US$95 million (K210 million) and the balance of US$21 million (K67 million) will be provided by the government as counterpart funding for the project.”

Kapris said construction of phase one would include wharf and pier, water treatment plant, waste treatment plant, roads, administration and other key infrastructure.

“Construction is expected to start in early 2011 and completed by the end of 2013.

“Phase two of the project is yet to be established but is expected to cost more than US$100 million,” he said.

Kapris said the funding for the project was secured through bilateral arrangement between China and PNG.

A framework arrangement was signed last November during the vice premier which allows for the state to access the concessional loan from Exim Bank of China.

Kapris added that the condition of the concessional loan was for the main contractor to be a Chinese company selected by the bank through their own selection process.

“The construction of PMIZ is to create a regional tuna processing centre which will provide an opportunity for regional member countries and PNG tuna industry to set up processing plants within the zone, add value to their tuna catches and supply export markets,” he said.

Shenyang International president Tan Lezhen said: “It is a privilege to combine our efforts because this is a productive project”.

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