Australia-PNG Business Council Forum

New era for agro industry

The Australia-PNG Business Council Forum, held in Port Moresby last month, revealed the new era for the agro industry in the country.

The Business Council of PNG (BCPNG) tells Loop PNG that in five to 10 years’ time, bolder investments and technology will make agriculture ventures much more high yielding and technology intensive.

BCPNG Executive Director, Douveri Henao, says coupled with strong business models, the potential to grow the industry and involving locals is greater than ever before.

ExxonMobil to develop sections of highway

This follows an agreement with the National Government recently

ExxonMobil Managing Director, Andrew Barry, announced this during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby.

The sections to be upgraded include Hanumbu Junction to Goli, then Goli to Komo.

“These sections will be upgraded to national highway standards including two-lane sealed highway, upgrading bridges and crossings where needed, and improving the drainage to help mitigate against water damage to road formations,” Barry said.

​Angore tie-in project to begin

The new 11 kilometre pipeline, including the installation of production equipment at the Angore Well Pad, is the focus for ExxonMobil, says Managing Director Andrew Barry.

Speaking at the recent Australia-PNG Business Council Forum, Barry said following the connection of Well Pad F, which is the highest well pad with an elevation of 2800 metres (which began production this week), this year the focus would be on Angore.

Angore lies east to the Hides Plant.

OK Tedi optimistic in 2017

Speaking at the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby, Executive Officer and Managing Director, Peter Graham, said despite returning after the production disruption, due to the El Nino drought, the mine performed well, generating K2.1 billion in a 10 month production run.

Graham said their optimism is based on the mine's mineral reserves, which underpins a strong base case.

NBPOL to diversify due to limited expansion

PNG Country Manager, Robert Nilkare, says though there is opportunity for expansion of palm oil, there is only enough suitable land for a growth of between 22 – 24 per cent.

Nilkare said this when asked about NBPOLS future for the next 50 years during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby.

PNG firm to tap into Chinese coffee demand

Duffy Coffee Roasters founder, Travers Chue, announced that after years of planning they are ready to take “Duffy Specialty Coffee’ overseas.

Speaking during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby, Chue said the move is to take advantage of the enormous population, which is over 1.3 billion.  

“There is the lack of specialty coffee there. What my vision is, is to bring PNG coffee to a population there that is absolutely huge,” said Chue.

Kokoda Track operators dominated by Aust firms

Buna Treks and Tours believes the current commercial arrangements favour Australian Operators  more than local trek and tour firms.

Owner and Director, Florence Bunari, told Loop PNG during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby that the current arrangement means that PNG misses out significantly both economically and socially.

“We’ve got to take ownership again. So Buna Trek and Tours is one of a handful of local tour operators, properly registered meeting all the requirements of the government,” said Florence.

​More spending needed in hubs: Foo

This is to take advantage of PNG’s strategic location in the Pacific Region.

Speaking at the Australia-PNG Business Forum, he said airports in key hubs such as Mt Hagen, Lae and Rabaul need to be upgraded, which will significantly improve volume for the carrier.

“Currently we cannot bring a 737 into these ports. What will it be like if we can bring a 737 into those key hubs on a 24-hour operation?

“We’ll make a significant change to our volume,” Foo said.

​PX to invest in high maintenance facility

CEO Simon Foo announced during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum in Port Moresby that the initiative will see more jobs, build capacity of aircraft engineers and retain foreign exchange in the country.

He said currently all high maintenance are done overseas.

“Currently we do our Dash 8 in Cairns, Fokker airplanes in Singapore, and the Boeing in China.

“The board will be investing in an MRO facility which will mean that we in Papua New Guinea can service our own planes in the country,” Foo said.

PNG-Aust relationship evolving

Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, said this in Port Moresby during the Australia-PNG Business Council Forum.

Fierravanti told participants that Australia was committed to assisting PNG develop a conducive business environment, adding that many Australian businesses operate in PNG.

“Up to half of Australia’s $500 million development program in PNG is dedicated to infrastructure that will increase productivity and produce better paying jobs,” she said.