The National,Friday 09th December 2011
THE undeveloped block of land between the National Botanical Gardens, Rainbow Estate and the National Research Institute will soon be developed into a futuristic service station.
The land is owned by the University of Papua New Guinea which penned an agreement with fuel company InterOil Corp to build the service station on 1.1ha of the block of land.
The service station will cater for the growing demand for fuel and other petroleum products in the area – especially Gerehu, which is the largest residential suburb in the city.
The move will also help to decentralise the service to the north-western end of the city which will also have easy access to the PNG LNG plant and the NapaNapa, Baruni, and Lealea areas when the road-link is upgraded.
UPNG’s business arm, UniVentures Ltd, will be involved in the project with InterOil.
Executives of UPNG and InterOil yesterday signed the 25-year lease of the land to InterOil, which was also involved in upstream oil and gas exploration and midstream processing plant at NapaNapa and downstream sales of processed petroleum products in PNG as a monopoly.
InterOil marketing manager Don Lewthwaite, in explaining the concept of its service stations-of-the-future, said a lot of planning would go into the design and concept plan as it will be something of the future.
“We will have a really good think about it as it will be an establishment looking into the future in five years’ time.
“We are looking for a product which will have retail shops and office and the Australian concept of coffee shops and others,” Lewthwaite said.
The service station will be strategically located to cater for the growing suburb of Gerehu and Rainbow and the LNG project through the Baruni access road and in anticipation of the development plans of UPNG as the 2015 Pacific Games village.
This is the second service station built in the country after more than 20 years.
The first, also by InterOil, was being built in Wewak.
East Sepik province.
UPNG Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Hynes hailed the business arrangement as important for UPNG and a balanced one.