FRANK ASAELI of PNGPCL
THE overseas wharf extension at Lae port is funded by PNG Ports Corporation (PNGPCL) and not the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
PNGPCL was responding to a report titled ‘Lae wharf gets K50 million facelift’ in the Post-Courier last Friday.
“The report is misleading and untrue in that this project is 100% funded by PNGPCL and not ADB as reported,” said PNGPCL chief executive officer Brian Riches,
“The budget for the project was also K88 million and not the reported amount of K50 million for the overseas wharf extension.
“Additionally, variations to the project may see the total cost exceed K90 million.
“The project, being constructed by Nawae Construction Ltd, was also reported to cater for the multi-billion kina liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, which is only partially true.”
Mr Riches said although PNGPCL intended to provide port services for the LNG project, the extension of the wharf was earmarked well before the proposed LNG project for general incoming (import) and outgoing (export) overseas vessels.
Mr Riches said the report was totally misleading and apologised that ADB had been wrongly quoted as being part of the project.
“PNG Ports states the contract to Nawae Construction is valued at approximately K88.02 million, with payments to date of K26.4 million,” he said.
“Like all PNGPCL’s other ports, Lae port projects are undertaken as a result of either the deterioration of the existing facilities, or the need to extend these existing facilities to accommodate the increasing size and number of vessels annually in all ports or new facilities to meet our stakeholders’ requirements and to facilitate trade.
“Outside Australia and New Zealand, Lae port is the largest port in the Pacific region and generates 52% of the PNGPCL revenue.
“This project signifies our understanding of stakeholders’ demand for maritime services and the requirement to facilitating trade growth.
“More than 80% of all export/import trade passes through our nation’s sea ports.
“PNGPCL takes the responsibility seriously in benchmarking port efficiency with other ports within the region.
“We also acknowledge we have to improve and expand our port facilities.”
Mr Riches said it was estimated that PNGPCL needed about K2-3 billion to rehabilitate its facilities across its network of 16 ports, which did not include the cost of the proposed Port Moresby port relocation.