Lae firm looks for opportunities as overseas company takes over


THE Lae-based stevedoring company of Riback Stevedore is looking at other business opportunities because its primary functions at the Lae Port have been taken over by International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (Ictsi), of the Philippines.
Managing director George Gware said the government’s decision to engage Ictsi has affected several stevedoring companies operating out of Lae Port, including Riback, which is 51 per cent owned by the landowner company Ahi Investment Limited.
Gware said the takeover has resulted in Riback losing its primary function of stevedoring and terminal handling.
“We were very concerned initially because we knew our biggest revenue earner would be affected,” Gware said.
“Our core business is in stevedoring and terminal handling. The government decided to change that and get the operator in (and) that revenue stream is gone. So our core business is gone, and that’s why I am saying now that we will have to transition; we will have to look at how best we can transform Riback.
“I think we are part of the supply chain and we would like to remain that way and look at other areas where we can actually harness and develop core revenue streams to grow the business.
“We cannot only do it in Lae but expand to other places as well. These are some of the challenges we are looking at now.”
Gware said the firm was looking at buying as much as a 30 per cent share of the Ictsi operations in Lae “through a share subscription agreement” to allow it to have some influence in the decision-making process.