By GYNNIE KERO
A SUBMISSION is before cabinet to transfer the multi-million kina Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project back to National Fisheries Authority (NFA), Commerce and Industry Minister William Duma says.
He said the authority dealt with tuna fishery and regulations and “knows better” about the project.
The Pacific Marine Industrial Zone was initiated by NFA and Fishing Industry Association in 2006.
The PMIZ project was launched in Nov 2015, and announced as a joint venture between Kumul Consolidated Holdings and the Madang government.
Three months ago, Finance Minister Rainbo Paita told The National that PMIZ would come under the Special Economic Zone project, with the Government to sign a Chinese Exim Bank loan agreement for the project.
Paita said there had been delays due to the scope of work being changed.
“The thing with Chinese Exim Bank agreements is that once a scope of work is changed, a new agreement has to be made again,” he said.
“We are currently taking stock of what we have and what we should include in the new scope of work and then we will sign a new agreement with the Chinese Exim Bank.”
Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill told Parliament in January that the management of the project would be transferred to the Madang government.
O’Neill said Madang had enormous potential and the project was to create a regional tuna processing hub for the Pacific, create jobs and assist small-medium businesses in Madang and PNG.
The PMIZ project was established 16 years ago and it is understood that about K1 billion was used for the project that has nothing to show.
The project would host 10 tuna processing plants and generate 30,000 jobs once fully developed.
Located 23km by road north of Madang, the PMIZ was intended to cater for processing canneries, which would underpin the Government’s policy direction of moving away from only licensing fishing to more onshore processing.
The size of the project is 100 hectares for the industrial zone.
By GYNNIE KERO