Thursday, March 29, 2012

IPBC inks deal on Lae port development

INDEPENDENT Public Business Corporation (IPBC) has signed the contract recently approved by National Executive Council for the development of a new port facility for Lae, The National reports.
The contract with China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd was signed by chairman Thomas Webster and managing director Thomas Abe.
It was counter-signed by representatives of China Harbor Engineering and Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio.
The signing at Government House on Monday paved the way for work on the K700-million-plus contract to start.

IPBC chairman Thomas Webster and managing director Thomas Abe (seated left) watch as China Harbor Engineering representatives sign the contract
“A preconstruction meeting is to be held in two weeks, after which commencement no­tices will be issued to the contractors,” Abe said.
“China Harbor Engineering is already on the ground in Lae and Port Moresby doing preliminary work, and is keen to start work immediately.
“This is a very important step forward for the nation’s most important port.
“The port is unable to meet current demand and is in urgent need of expansion if it is not to remain a very serious obstacle to the economic development of the Momase-Highlands region.
“There is very significant development occurring throughout the region, in particular the LNG project.
“Reconstruction and expansion of Lae Port is essential if all planned developments are to go ahead smoothly and efficiently.”
Abe said the Lae Port project would itself spur economic activity and jobs growth, and that once completed, it would play a big role in other development, such as agriculture, forestry and mining and petroleum.
It would also help to lower the cost of taking goods to local and international markets and reduce input transport costs..
The main element of the project is the construction of new port facilities including a tidal basin, a berth and a terminal.
Work is expected to start in the middle of this year and finish towards the end of 2015.
It is being funded 70% by the ADB and 30% by the national government through IPBC

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