This assurance by PNG Ports comes at a time when the region’s push for self-governance is gaining momentum.
PNG Ports made known during a recent meeting with stakeholders in Buka and Kieta that its presence in Bougainville would remain to enable the flow of goods into the region.
PNG Ports owns and operates the Buka and Kieta ports in Bougainville as part of its community service obligation (CSO).
Managing Director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa, while reaffirming the company’s stance, encouraged stakeholders to work together with PNG Ports and utilise the ports as a source of raising revenue for the company and the region.
“PNG Ports is here purposely for the benefit of the people, we do not make money by running the two ports.
“We remain committed to the people of Bougainville. No matter what the political future holds, we will still be here until the Autonomous Region of Bougainville government (ABG) decides otherwise,” Kiniafa said.
The ABG’s Minister for Technical Services, Dr Joseph Kim Swamaru, was happy with the initiative to visit Bougainville and discuss issues of significance.
Among those discussed during the meeting were compliance issues and revenue leakages, as well as the plans PNG Ports has for the Ports of Kieta and Buka as outlined in its 30 year infrastructure Master Plan.
Dr Swamaru said there were areas that PNG Ports and the ABG could collaborate on.
He added that the ABG was looking at developing a project with the maritime sector and called for PNG Ports’ support.
PNG Ports owns 15 ports and operates 13 as CSO ports. Kiniafa and his team have been visiting all ports to meet with stakeholders, and the visit to the Buka and Kieta Ports in Bougainville is part of this.