Construction at LNG training facility stalled

Business, Main Stories


THE March-scheduled completion of the PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project trade training facility in Port Moresby will depend on timely Customs clearance of building materials.  
It is now three months since Sept 28 when initial construction work began on the facility at Port Moresby Technical College (POMTech) at Idubada on the outskirts of nation’s capital.
It is part of an estimated US$50 million to US$60 million (about (K134-K161 million) trade training facility to be built at Juni near the Hides gas field in Southern Highlands province.
Yesterday, The National toured the construction site at POMTech with ExxonMobil representatives.
An officer who wished anonymity, said most initial works and foundations for the buildings (classrooms, dormitories, etc,) had been placed and that they were waiting for, among other things, the prefabricated building parts from Dubai in the Middle East.
“It is now about seven to eight weeks since we begun waiting for the prefabricated buildings from Dubai, but we believe Customs will release the materials this week,” he said.
Customs Commissioner Gary Juffa said materials meant for the LNG project construction were among other materials and items for other clients that Customs needed to thoroughly check before clearing.
He said the delay should also be blamed on ExxonMobil for the late release of shipment schedules for their goods.
“The delay is not entirely Customs’ fault,” Mr Juffa said.
The ExxonMobil officer also said many of the materials needed for construction were  in PNG like underground utilities, concrete, timber for foundation and steel.
 “There is a large content of material here,” he said.
The civil work at POMTECH is being carried out by EOS joint venture for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC); KG Contruction and its subcontractors; Red Sea contractor; Digara Construction, including local contractors which are providing food and water, plus other necessary services to the construction site and its staff.
As of yesterday, the officer said there were 103 workers on site including security guards.
He also said two staff houses were relocated to pave way for two new units.