Papua New Guinea
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PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) with the intent to increase trade, connectivity and commercial capacity are preparing to upgrade its non-profitable ports.

Ian Hayden-Smart, the Officer In Charge of PNG Ports said that half of these ports will be rehabilitated using funding from the Australian Government.

“PNG Ports owns and manages 15 ports, but 12 of these which are, Rabaul, Kavieng, Lorengau, Buka, Kieta, Daru, Alotau, Oro Bay, Madang, Aitape, Vanimo and Wewak – do not make money and are run as community service obligatory ports,” he said.

“These ports rely entirely on the profitable ports of Lae, Motukea and Kimbe to fund their operations.”

According to Mr Hayden-Smart, the upgrades will ensure that the ports are fit for purpose facilities which will be able to meet future demands placed by the local economy, and will be more climate and seismic resilient.

“All port upgrade projects are in their early stages undergoing either feasibility studies or designing, with only Kimbe at the post Tender evaluation stage.”

“PNG Ports is committed to upgrading selected ports because for a country that relies on maritime trade for access to goods and services, the ports are the critical link for connectivity and economic growth,” he said.

PNG Ports attracted a blended financial package of K1.5 billion from the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) after launching its first ever 30 Year Port Master Plan two years ago.

The Master Plan highlighted the state of the port facilities on average as ‘very poor’ and ‘required urgent repair’ prompting the financial package, which is part of a bi-lateral sovereign loan between the Australian Government and PNG Government.

The ports of Kimbe, Kavieng, Lorengau, and Oro Bay will be upgraded using the AIFFP funds. Daru will be upgraded utilizing a grant from the Government of Australia outside of the AIFFP funding. The port upgrades are in line with the current Government’s Çonnect PNG agenda.