PMIZ project launching to go ahead

The legal battles over the Pacific Maritime Industial Zone (PMIZ) project in Madang are over and the launching will take place soon , says Minister for Trade Commerce & Industry Richard Maru.

He said with the cases withdrawn and with the reinstatement of the loan by the China Exim Bank, the launch will go ahead.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will officially launch the construction phase of the PMIZ on Nov 23.

Maru thanked the Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch for signing the supplementary loan agreement with China Exim Bank for the loan to be extended because of the three year delay.

He said the National Government had stressed to the contractor, China Shenyang International that it must deliver the project within 12 months from the start of the construction phase.

“The National Executive Council (NEC) has selected private sector partners to provide water and power for the PMIZ project under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy of the Government. The Heads of Agreement for the project will be signed in the coming weeks with Oil Search Limited to provide power to the PMIZ whilst Water PNG will provide water,” Maru said.

He said the project when completed will create an expected 20,000 jobs for the people of Madang, provide substantial duty and tax revenue to the Government and increase the export value of our fish processed in Papua New Guinea upwards by an estimated K2 billion which is lost annually because a substantial volume of our fish is sent out unprocessed to canneries outside of PNG.

However, last week, Oro Governor Garry Juffa blasted the government on facilitating the Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone in Madang, calling it a ‘scam’.

Juffa claimed that more than 5000 petitioners being ignored after petitioning the government to put a stop to the project and no environmental investigation statements had been released.

He also claimed that there is no effort to consult the people and inform them about the repercussions and ramifications of the project.

Freddy Mou