IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE, CON­STRUC­TION & SER­VICES

A range of new projects un­der way or about to start will re­vive the con­struc­tion sec­tor af­ter the com­ple­tion of the con­struc­tion phase of the Exxonmo­bil-led PNG LNG project.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Front Page -

Since the com­ple­tion of the PNG LNG project, the sec­tor has been in a lull, but the devel­op­ment of Jack­sons In­ter­na­tional Air­port, new hous­ing, the re­lo­ca­tion of the port of Port Moresby and prepa­ra­tions for the 2015 Pa­cific Games and the 2018 APEC sum­mit are all pro­vid­ing a boost to the sec­tor.

A de­ci­sion on a sec­ond LNG plant in Gulf Prov­ince led by France’s To­tal SA, ex­pected by the end of 2015, will also be fac­tored into con­struc­tion and in­fra­struc­ture plan­ning.

Bullish about growth

‘There are lots of Pa­pua New Guinean con­struc­tion en­ti­ties that sort of sprung up from the PNG LNG ex­pe­ri­ence, and some of them are pre­dom­i­nantly Pa­pua New Guinean owned, so they’re about but they’re go­ing to have some dif­fi­cul­ties in main­tain­ing their mo­men­tum be­cause of the lull of ac­tiv­ity,’ ex­plains Frank Kramer, CEO of en­gi­neer­ing firm Kramer Aus­menco (PNG).

‘But there is a resid­ual level of ac­tiv­ity that’s still in the coun­try that we see as an op­por­tu­nity for us to grow our busi­ness,’ says Kramer. Kramer is bullish about the prospects for his own busi­ness: ‘We’ve got a strate­gic growth plan that be­tween now and 2018 we want to sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease our num­bers from 120 peo­ple to some­thing like 300 or 350, and cor­re­spond­ingly in our rev­enue lev­els will in­crease. In do­ing that, we are ac­tu­ally ex­tend­ing our skillsets a lit­tle bit be­yond our tra­di­tional hori­zons.’

Hous­ing on the agenda

‘The con­struc­tion area I have most op­ti­mism about is hous­ing,’ says the CEO of the Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ Coun­cil of PNG, Chey Scov­ell.

In May 2014, the PNG Na­tional Gov­ern­ment and Bank of South Pa­cific an­nounced a part­ner­ship to pro­vide af­ford­able hous­ing for public and pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ees.

The Gov­ern­ment’s 2015 bud­get pro­vides the ini­tial cap­i­tal of K200 mil­lion. State-owned land will be given to home­own­ers. The gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied un­used land in Port Moresby as suit­able for 40,000 new homes.

In ad­di­tion, Plan­ning Min­is­ter Charles Abel says he plans to give away 2,000 land ti­tles in each prov­ince.

Pri­vate res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments such as the 500-home Edai Town­ship out­side Port Moresby are also in the pipe­line.

How­ever, Scov­ell is con­cerned that the gov­ern­ment may ex­empt im­ported pre­fab­ri­cated hous­ing and ma­te­ri­als from im­port du­ties.

The lo­cal in­dus­try is com­pet­i­tive on price, he says, ‘so if Cabi­net re­jects that idea, that would be the most pos­i­tive as­pect for lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing.’

Saudi Ara­bian hous­ing spe­cial­ist Red Sea Hous­ing came to PNG to build the site camp for the Exxonmo­bil-led PNG LNG project and has stayed on to com­plete sev­eral other con­struc­tion projects.

Gen­eral Manager Ken­neth Clin­ton says the com­pany is cur­rently com­plet­ing a K49 mil­lion project to build 150 three-bed­room hous­ing units for po­lice of­fi­cers that will be com­pleted at the Bo­mana Po­lice Train­ing Col­lege in Port Moresby.

APEC

Par­lia­ment ap­proved the estab­lish­ment of the APEC Pa­pua New Guinea 2018 Co-or­di­na­tion Author­ity, to de­liver all lo­gis­ti­cal el­e­ments for up to 200 APEC meet­ings and events that will take place be­tween 2015 and the end of 2018 (see page 12).

The es­ti­mated US$500 mil­lion devel­op­ment of Jack­sons In­ter­na­tional Air­port is al­ready pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for PNG’S con­struc­tion com­pa­nies.

‘And that strate­gi­cally is re­ally im­por­tant be­cause that’s go­ing to pre­pare the aerial gate­way to PNG for the APEC in­fra­struc­ture,’ says Kramer.

Port re­lo­ca­tion

While the plans are yet to be un­veiled, there is likely to be sig­nif­i­cant civil works sur­round­ing the re­lo­ca­tion of Port Moresby’s port to Mo­tukea Is­land, cur­rently the site of en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion firm Cur­tain Broth­ers’ pri­vate port and ship­yard.

Cur­tain Bros, which has been be­hind Port Moresby’s mas­sive Har­bour City devel­op­ment, is cur­rently re­fur­bish­ing 18,000-seat Sir Hu­bert Mur­ray sta­dium, next door.

Edai Town, a con­tem­po­rary, gated 500-unit ex­ec­u­tive K250 mil­lion (US$100 mil­lion) hous­ing es­tate is un­der con­struc­tion in Cen­tral Prov­ince. The town­ship is part of a res­i­den­tial and lo­gis­tics cor­ri­dor be­tween PNG'S cap­i­tal city and Exxonmo­bil's LNG Plant,

Con­struc­tion at Port Moresby’s Har­bour City devel­op­ment con­tin­ues apace.

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