Papua New Guinea
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Kua: Declaration of emergency will be for 30 days

BY DALE LUMA

Minister for Petroleum and Energy Kerenga Kua has used his powers under the National Energy Authority Act 2021 and Essential Services Act 2002 to announce a Declaration of Emergency in the country due to the ongoing fuel saga.

Minister Kua said the Declaration of Emergency will be in place for one month and is a direct result of the current disruption in the supply and distribution of fuel and petroleum products and foreign exchange (FX).

The declaration of emergency intends to achieve two objectives, first being an interim measure to maintain fuel and petroleum products supply in the PNG and second, being to find a long term objective to ensure that the country’s energy demand, including fuel and petroleum is stablised.

The declaration of emergency will be for 30 days as of July 31 which was yesterday and will impact the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG), Puma Energy and relevant stakeholders.

“There are two critical declarations,” Mr Kua said.

“Number one, I am now directing the Bank of Papua New Guinea to maintain foreign exchange to all authorised foreign exchange dealers which is effectively all licensed banks where Puma Energy has its accounts.

“Number two, in exchange from that, Puma must refrain from stopping its supply. It must allow uninterrupted supply of all fuel supply including aviation gas.”

Minister Kua said there will be meetings held in the next 30 days to work out more interim and long term solutions.

“Then we will provide a recommendation back to the National Security Council and the National Executive Council.”

Mr Kua said he will also present a statement to parliament this week.

He also emphasised that to all those concerned, that under the Essential Services Act, the Minister has powers to implement fines and penalties on people who do not adhere to the direction.

Fines and penalties include:
– For natural persons, he or she will be liable to a fine of K100,000 or term of imprisonment not exceeding six months; and
– For corporate sees a fine not exceeding K500,000 and prosecution.