Tag Archives: Infrastructure

On schedule

Source: The National

By GYNNIE KERO 


Oil Search Ltd is confident the APEC Haus taking shape in Port Moresby will be completed well before the contracted deadline – July 31.
Its construction at Ela Beach is paid for through Oil Search’s tax credit scheme for K120 million and Construction Project Build (CPB) Company is leading the work.
APEC Haus project manager Peter Kearsley said 65 per cent of the building was completed.
“Yes, the project is on budget,” he said. “The next thing you will see is glass go up at the start of February.
“Now having had the roof on, we are able to work on the ground floor.
“Contracted deadline is July 31, the guys will definitely beat that. It will be finished before the end of July.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill yesterday said APEC Haus would be converted into a world-class museum after the leaders’ meeting in November.
He also highlighted that more than 80 per cent of the project workers were locals. “Many of our artefact, thousands of years old and held in museums (elsewhere), we want to bring back here,” O’Neill said.

Bank PNG signs card deal with Swiss company

THE Bank of Papua New Guinea has signed a contract with the Swiss company BPC Banking Technologies for the supply and installation of a national card and mobile payments switch.

 
It is the first step towards implementing the Retail Electronic Payments System (REPS), an initiative launched by the bank in 2015, as the next phase in the development of the National Payment System and its drive for financial inclusion in PNG.

 
REPS followed the successful implementation of the KATS inter-bank electronic payment system which began in February 2015.

 
BPNG said KATS hads shortened cheque-clearance times and provided electronic direct credits between PNG bank accounts.

 
“By enabling full electronic payments, KATS greatly improved financial services offered by banks to their customers.

 
“It provided the PNG economy with a secure, efficient and reliable domestic payment system and set, a solid foundation for future innovation in payments technology, including growth opportunities for Fintech digital financial services.

 
“REPS will allow microfinance companies and microbanks, Savings and Loans Societies and other smaller financial institutions entry into the NPS to offer plastic card and mobile payment services to their customers, so that more people and businesses will have access to financial services throughout PNG, particularly among the rural areas.”

Source: The National

GAME CHANGER

 

 

DEVELOPMENT in one of Port Moresby’s iconic area, Paga Hill, will be a “game changer” for the Capital city.

That’s from NCD Governor Powes Parkop when witnessing a historic agreement to begin stage one of the development on Paga Hill.

Governor Parkop, and Lands and APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko, witnessed the signing by Paga Hill Development Company, and its Advisory Board, who will provide AU$20 million in offshore funding to commence construction of Stage one.

Paga Hill Development Company, led by its chief executive officer Gudmundur Fridriksson, signed the agreement before the two NCD MPs that will see the development of 1.7 hectares waterfront site, which will include restaurants, cafes, retail, commercial and residential apartments.

Advisory board director Peter Barge, the world renowned Australian property executive who was involved in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, Macau, Dubai and other major developments as Jones Lang La Salle Asia Pacific chairman and CEO, flew into PNG from Sydney this week to complete the agreement.

Mr Barge, who was joined in Port Moresby by fellow board members David Galvin and Simon Dulhunty, said the vision for Paga Hill “will help transform a city and country into an emerging tourism destination, while creating many local jobs and boosting the national economy”.

Governor Parkop said his vision is for “Port Moresby to be a model city in the South Pacific, leading the way in tourism and business”, with Paga Hill a key part of this strategy.

He is impressed to see the project now moving from design to construction.

Minister Tkatchenko expressed his appreciation at the amount of open space and discussed the opportunity of establishing a joint working group to ensure the best possible outcome for city and residents, as well as the developers.

Civil works on stage one are well underway with actual construction to commence in March 2018, with Mr Fridriksson saying Stage one will set the scene for what’s to come at Paga Hill Estate, “with waterfront retail, dining and entertainment, it will be an ideal place to live, work and play.”

Source: Post-Courier

Team to be set up for NHC asset recovery

A NATIONAL Housing Corporation (NHC) asset recovery team will be set up next year to restore integrity in the corporation, says Minister for Housing and Urbanisation John Kaupa, pictured.

 
The team will comprise officers from police, the auditor-general, attorney-general, state solicitor, Lands and Physical Planning Department, Office of Urbanisation, Finance Department and other private professionals to identity assets that belong to the corporation.

 
“The Housing Corporation has been run as privately owned by some group of people,” Kaupa said.

 
He said the NHC had been facing issues of restrictive policy framework, political interference and poor management.

 
Its survival is not dependent on revenue generation and rentals or creation of new properties.

 
“It was largely depended on the exciting property sales, without the expansion of the asset profile,” Kaupa said.

 
He said currently the NHC was not in a position to account for all its assets.

 
“There is a need to change the structure and we must also take stock of all the titles and all the properties owned by Housing Corporation and incorporate them so that we must have a register to maintain and see what properties we own.”

 
Kaupa said over the years, the drive to account for all assets had been attended but was incomplete.

 
“At this stage, the properties are everywhere with 4000 titles. Are these 4000 titles still there or moved to other titles? We do not know,” he said.

Source: The National

Cleaning, maintenance work begins at Jomba cells

Source: The National

By DOROTHY MARK 


Cleaning and maintenance work at the Jomba police cells began over the weekend following a National Court order for work to be done immediately.
Judge David Cannings issued an order for the provincial government to make available K50,000 of which K25,000 was to be paid to the contractor that built a new female and juvenile cell block as part payment.
Another K25,000 was to be paid to police for the clean-up and maintenance of the current cell block.
Madang acting police commander Senior Inspector Jacob Bando said the contractor had gave him keys to the new cells which were available for use.
Bando said Madang administrator Daniel Aloi had arranged a contractor for the clean-up and maintenance of the old cell block.
Cannings said the cell was unfit for human occupation.
The clean-up came after he ordered for 36 detainees to be released on human rights grounds.
Cannings’ orders followed the filing of a report by national court officials about the cell conditions and over crowdedness.

 

Ministry Pushes For E-Learning In Tertiary Institutions

Source: Post-Courier

 

As of next month, smaller higher education institutions in the country will be assisted by the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology to create their own websites and internel protocol (IP) addresses. Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Pila Niningi, said this in Port Moresby last week.

“With the rapid progress in technology and the advancement in learning systems, we plan to establish e-learning in all higher education institutions in the country,” Mr Niningi said.

He said higher learning institutions in the world that use e-learning technologies are ahead of those that use the traditional approach towards learning. He said it was equally important to take forward the concept of non-electronic teaching with the help of books and teachers, but the importance and effectiveness of technology-based learning cannot be taken lightly or ignored altogether.

Mr Niningi added that some higher learning institutions in private and public sectors are adapting to the concept of e-learning, which help in nation progress.

“The ministry and the Department of Higher Education will begin to use a tool called cloud to protect, monitor and manage the performance and availability of data across all higher learning institutions in PNG.

Pom Gen to receive K100 million

THE Port Moresby General Hospital will receive K100 million of the K1.5 billion health sector allocation in the 2018 national budget, Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu says.
Sir Puka said they had been allocated 100 per cent funding but the challenge was how to implement the budget.
“I’ve been in this hospital most of my life and I’ve seen transformation under the new board. The highest institution in healthcare is the hospital,” he said.
“This is to bring the private sector skill, experience and acumen into the public sector. The things they lack are because of the Budget issues.
“I was health secretary before and I would beg the government to fund our health plan below 60 per cent. It’s now 100 per cent funding.”
Sir Puka said the key word was partnership and he urged the communities to help the management of the hospitals by doing their part.
“Don’t throw rubbish everywhere. Listen to security guards,” he said.
“Visit patients on time with one guardian. Doctor-patient relationship must be improved. Prescription practices must be good and patients must complete their doses to avoid drug resistance.”

Source: The National

Power Project Welcomes LO Participation

Source: Post-Courier

 

 

Landowners can be given the first right of refusal as equity shareholders in the proposed US$120 million (K375 million) Port Moresby power project.
This is according to Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL) managing director Wapu Sonk, who says participation by resource landowners in the project was welcome.
He says this can be achieved through equity participation by the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) in NiuPower Limited.
NiuPower is the entity created by KPHL and Oil Search Limited to underwrite the US$120 million gas fired power station.
LNG project landowners were angered at not being part of the project and threatened to disrupt the US$19 billion investment demanding they own the power station.
Hela landowners said that they had been denied the opportunity to participate in the new project, which will use gas from the PNG LNG liquefaction plant near Port Moresby.
“NiuPower has always been keen to bring in additional equity partners.
“Of course any equity participation must be on commercial terms consistent with the terms agreed between NiuPower and PPL.
“Otherwise there will be substantial increases in the cost of power to PPL and its customers,” Mr Sonk said.
He said Kumul Petroleum and Oil Search had previously invited the State owned MRDC to take equity in NiuPower’s investments to ensure landowner participation in the development of the Port Moresby power station.
“This offer remains open and NiuPower is awaiting engagement from MRDC to discuss the commercial terms for equity participation.
“We, therefore, urge landowners to work constructively with MRDC to achieve their participation in this milestone power project,” he said. Mr Sonk added that following the establishment of the power station, generation requirements for the National Capital District will be covered for a number of years.
“With the creation of NiuPower and the development of the gas fired Port Moresby power station, Kumul Petroleum and Oil Search directly contribute to the government’s energy objectives of electrifying 70 per cent of PNG by 2030, today estimated at around 10 per cent.
“We recognise that electrifying PNG is a development game changer that will improve the lives of our people in line with Vision 2050,” Mr Sonk said.

Photo Courtesy: Loop PNG

Construction of college facilities underway

WORK has started on the construction of facilities for the Enga Teachers College through a K33.5 million tax credit scheme funding from the Porgera Joint Venture.
Executive managing director Richmond Fenn said the mine was proud to partner with the government through the tax credit scheme arrangement.
“The province is fortunate to have a mine in this region. But I want to thank the Governor (Sir Peter Ipatas) again because there are few people that have as clear a vision about education as he has,” he said.
“And to think that he has been promoting education for 20 years, that is an amazing vision.
“It takes dedication to make it come true.”
The project involves the construction of three-storey 144-bed female dormitory and four-storey 192-bed male dormitory.
There will also be a mess hall with a 400-person sitting capacity.
Fenn said they were not only trying to build colleges but these colleges would eventually provide degree programmes.
Cardno PNG is the design consultant and HBS PNG will build the facilities. The project is expected to be completed in February 2019.

PNG moving away from tied loans

Source: Loop PNG

10/ 12/ 2017

Acting Prime Minster, Charles Abel, says the Government is moving away from loan financing with tied conditions.

He said the Government has learned from experience and is now negotiating loans which have better terms for the country.

 

He said this following the signing of a concessional loan with the Czechoslovakian EXIM Bank for K172 million (Euro 55 million) for the Boram Hospital Upgrade Project.

 

Abel said given the experience of the China EXIM Bank loan, which had tied conditions, the PNC-led coalition is now working to move away from such arrangements.

 

He said the Government is now looking more at financing arrangements, which are not tied and will also have a trickling effect on the economy.

 

“We want to begin a process where we want to move away from what we call tied bilateral financing. Some of the conditions that come with these loans require that a company must come from that particular country, so we’re doing our best to move away from that.

 

“We want as much as possible to have open tender, and to have Papua New Guinean companies participate so that more of the indirect benefits from these financing can stay in Papua New Guinea,” he said.

 

Another aspect of the financing arrangements being explored by the Government is concessional loans with relaxed repayment terms.

 

The Czech EXIM Bank loan of K172 million for the Boram Hospital is one such arrangement, he said, which has 2 percent interest and 15-year repayment period with a three grace period.

 

“How we improve these terms so that we have more participation from local companies is very important to us,” Abel said.

Photo Credit: ABC News Page

 

Author: Cedric Patjole

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