Micah happy with SOEs

Business, Normal

The National, Tuesday July 21st, 2015


PUBLIC Enterprise and State Investment Minister Ben Micah says he is satisfied with the performance of state owned entities (SOEs) in the first six months of 2015.

He said Air Niugini was on track to sell 50 per cent of the shares to the private sector in a bid to expand the operations of the airline.

“I am satisfied with the general performance of all SOEs,” Micah said.

“Air Niugini will enable 50 per cent of the ownership of the airline to be sold to public and private sector enabling us to acquire longer range aircraft that can go beyond the Pacific, maybe further into Asia. For PNG Ports Ltd, we (National Government) have now increased the capacity of cargo handling in Port Moresby by acquiring Motukea from Curtain Brothers.

“Construction of the Lae Tidal Basin has been completed which will now handle large Panamex vessels or more containers to be handled at the port. 

“The ports at Kimbe and Orobay are being upgraded, Milne Bay is being upgraded both for cargo and cruise ships, Rabaul is being dredged and will be upgraded, Wewak is being upgraded, Aitape is going to be upgraded so there is a major infrastructure development programme for the ports. For water, I have put together a new policy for water companies; Water PNG and Eda Ranu that will now enable them to partner with private sector companies and multilateral funding agencies like World Bank, European Union to water and sanitation beyond the cities and towns to 90 per cent of the population in districts and towns.

“Motor Vehicles Insurance Ltd is performing reasonably well.

“PNG Power Ltd has struggled quite a bit since the introduction of the state of emergency which enabled me to go in and deal with a lot of issues relating to non-collection of debts, etc. 

“We now turned the company around from a K14 million overdraft facility, they have now are trading at K60-K80 million into the credit, the cash flow has improved and we have appointed a very dynamic board that is now keeping an eye on the programmes that the cabinet has approved to revive the company eventually we are going to open up the space for the private sector to become involved in generation of power and PNG Power will concentrate on the transmission, distribution and retail.”