Source: The National,Wednesday, February 13, 2013
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed satisfaction with the progress of the K700 million Lae port project and expects it to be completed by the end of next year, ADB vice-president Stephen Groff said.
He told The National after visiting the project yesterday the Papua New Guinea government should be planning now on how it would be using the port once it opened.
The ADD is funding 70% of project costs while the PNG government shoulders the rest of the 30%, with China Harbour Engineering as the major contractor.
“I’m very positive about it. I think that it will be critical that the government anticipates what the use of the port will be.
“It’s not just completing the port and deciding how you’re going to use it,” Groff said.
“The government needs to be thinking now about what the uses will be, what possible private sector partnerships that could be engaged to be part of the port.
“As far as physical completion and progress is concerned, we (ADB) are very happy, but the government needs to pay close attention to this and think ahead about what they’re going to use the port for.
“This is a critical piece of infrastructure for the Highlands Highway, so you need to think ahead in how you’re going to use this port for imports and exports, and moving goods in and out of the area.
“What we don’t want to see at the end of 2014 is physical infrastructure (port) is turned over (by ADB to government)and there’s a couple of years before the port is really active.
“We would hope that the port would be fully functional and active sometime in 2015.”
“We believe that would possible if the government is working now very hard in anticipating what the demand will be, doing preparatory work to enable them to start fully using the port immediately in 2015.”