Government queries status of Lae Port Operation

The Government will be raising questions to PNG Ports and Kumul Consolidated Holding’s on the status of selecting an operator for the Lae Tidal Basin Wharf.

Minister for National Planning and Acting Minister for State Enterprise and Public Investment, Charles Abel, said this during the week.

Abel said it has always been Governments intention to have a reputable firm manage the Lae Port.

“The Governments intention is to have an international operator come in and utilise that port and generate internationally competitive container movement rates and cordage rates and clearance through that port.

“It’s certainly an issue that  is outstanding. And we’ll raise the relevant questions through PNG Ports and KCH as to what is happening in that recruitment process for the international operator so that asset can be fully utilised as intended,” said Abel.

Phase One construction of the Lae Tidal Basin Wharf, which cost K809 million, began in early 2012 by China Harbour Engineering Limited (CHEC) and was completed at the end of 2014.

Before Phase Two of the redevelopment could take place, structural defects were discovered by Australian engineering company AECOM, following a siltation study in 2015.

KCH admitted that there were defects and announced they, including CHEC, would carry out remediation works.

They also said the defects did not affect Phase Two of the project which was scheduled for 2016.

Picture: Loop file photo

Cedric Patjole