Port projects progressing


MORE than K1 billion has been invested in maritime transport infrastructure in the past four years, according to PNG Ports Corporation Limited.
They include two projects which are expected to be completed in the next 18 months.
Acting managing director Stanley Alphonse said in a statement the investments in the capital projects were to achieve efficiency in the supply chain, lower shipping costs and cost competitive outcomes in the national economy.
“We expect all major projects and strategic initiatives to progress on schedule in 2017, barring any unforeseen events,” Alphonse said.
“The significant investments by the Government in Lae and Port Moresby need to be converted into positive financial and economic gains for the benefit of the economy.”
Alphonse said more than K300 million had been invested in port infrastructure in Lae, Alotau, Kimbe and Oro Bay.
Lae Port had witnessed a major facelift from the quay side, plus the extension of the international berth to the front gate in 2014.
PNG Ports spent more than K10 million that same year to upgrade the Oro Bay wharf, enabling bigger vessels to berth.
In Alotau, PNG Ports spent K42 million to rebuild the port to cater for biggest vessels including cruise liners. The coastal wharf in Kimbe was re-built in 2015 to address the acute competition facing that port.
“The major challenge for PNG Ports is that only three of the 15 ports it owns and operates are profitable.
All other ports come under the PNG Ports Community Service Obligation charter,” he said.