PNG’S key ports un­dergo ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment

The port of Port Moresby is set to be re-lo­cated to nearby Mo­tukea Is­land, while the re­de­vel­oped port of Lae pre­pares to re­ceive huge con­tainer ves­sels, cut­ting time and costs for busi­ness.

Business Advantage Papua New Guinea - - Infrastructure -

The port con­ges­tion wor­ries of PNG’S re­cent past look set to be sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.

Port Moresby’s main wharf will be re­lo­cated to nearby Mo­tukea Is­land, af­ter the PNG Gov­ern­ment signed a K725 mil­lion agree­ment with Cur­tain Broth­ers to buy the cur­rent wharf on Mo­tukea, plus about 60 hectares of land.

An ad­di­tional K550 mil­lion is bud­geted for con­struc­tion and ex­ten­sion of the port.

The Min­is­ter for Public En­ter­prises and State In­vest­ments, Ben Micah, says the re­lo­ca­tion will en­hance eco­nomic growth and trans­form Port Moresby’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict:

‘The CBD of Port Moresby has reached op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity and has been ham­strung by traf­fic con­ges­tion and growth is­sues, forc­ing the gov­ern­ment to seek a vi­able so­lu­tion that will as­sist in the long-term devel­op­ment of the city.’

Micah says the re­lo­ca­tion will be com­pleted by 2018, when the city hosts that year’s APEC sum­mit.

Dry dock fa­cil­i­ties

Mo­tukea Is­land is cur­rently home to civil en­gi­neer­ing firm, Cur­tain Group, which plans to ex­pand its own ship re­pair fa­cil­i­ties by build­ing a very large dry dock.

Its cur­rent dock­yard can re­pair a wide range of ves­sels up to 110 me­tres in length and weigh­ing up to 4000 tonnes.

The new dock­yard, says Gen­eral Manager, Justin Mcgann, will be 300 me­tres length, with a door width of 44 me­tres, and a sill depth of 10 me­tres at mid-tide.

‘This fa­cil­ity will be able to ac­com­mo­date ves­sels up to some 100,000 DWT ca­pac­ity,’ he tells Busi­ness Ad­van­tage.

‘We’ll have our dry dock for Pana­max re­pairs, and we’ll have our ship­yard where we want to build new ships. For ex­am­ple we’d like to build de­fence force ships for PNG.’

It also plans to build var­i­ous fa­cil­i­ties for port re­lated op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing an ex­am­i­na­tion scan­ning fa­cil­ity al­ready un­der­way for PNG Cus­toms.

Lae port ex­pan­sion

Lae is the man­u­fac­tur­ing hub of Pa­pua New Guinea and its port han­dles more than 60 per cent of PNG’S in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic trade. In 2015, the port—which han­dles around 55 ves­sels a month cur­rently—is ex­pected to han­dle some 130,000 in­ter­na­tional and 56,000 do­mes­tic con­tain­ers.

The first phase of a long-an­tic­i­pated up­grade of Lae’s port was fin­ished in De­cem­ber 2014.

The project, funded by the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank, cost K734 mil­lion (US$275 mil­lion) and is the bank’s largest re­gional project, ac­cord­ing to Marcelo Minc, the ADB’S Coun­try Direc­tor for PNG.

New fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a ti­dal basin, a mul­ti­pur­pose berth, and ter­mi­nal works with build­ings, stor­age ar­eas, roads, drainage, wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and sew­er­age ser­vices.

The im­prove­ments will sig­nif­i­cantly boost the port’s car­go­han­dling ca­pac­ity, with gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates sug­gest­ing that ul­ti­mately the up­grades will re­sult in a tripling of ca­pac­ity.

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