THE upgrading of the Komo airfield in Southern Highlands province will start next month, according to contractor McConnel Dowell Joint Venture (MDJV).
The airfield will be elevated to an international airport and will be the main entry point for aircraft with equipment and workers for the PNG LNG project.
MDJV procumbent manager Rod Ireland said the planned 3,400m runway was expected to be completed within the next two years.
Ireland said this yesterday during a workshop for local businesses and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors that started on Monday in Port Moresby.
Participants for the four-day event are from business houses and organisations ranging from engineering and construction companies, information technology, electrical companies, travel agents, wholesalers and distributors of heavy machinery and equipment including people claiming to represent landowner companies (lancos) along the impacted areas, especially in the Southern Highlands province.
He said equipment mobilisation was in progress with sophisticated machineries and equipment expected to be flown in by Russian-made aircraft, while engineering procumbent and tendering processing was to start soon after the start of the site work constructions.
Mr Ireland said the airport would be like the size of the Brisbane international airport in Australia and bigger than Jackson International Airport in the nation’s capital, capable of handling three to four Boeing 747s at any given time.
He said the Brisbane-based MDJV engineering division had already done the engineering design and scope of work for the proposed international airport.
Mr Ireland said MDJV would give opportunities to lancos and local contractors to supply goods and services for the construction and early works at the upgrade site in Komo.
He said suppliers could bid for tenders for the construction of the 22km to 24km road and culverts in the airport vicinity, a 22km optic fibre construction, and supplying of 1.5 to two million gallons of fuels into Komo.
The contract to lancos and local businesses is accordance with the national content plan of PNG LNG project agreement.
Mr Ireland said other goods and services that would be required for the airport upgrade would include office stationary, fencing, drainage, catering services, pump stations, administrative services, building constructions and other related civil constructions works.
The upgrading work will employ between 800 and 900 workers in total of which 100 will be expatriates.