Sunday, February 9, 2014

Edible Oil Overview

Keeping palm oil trade competitive

Keeping palm oil trade competitive

Posted on : 09-10-2012 | By : Admin | In : Palm Oil


PALM oil accounts for the largest share of the global edible oil market. This is estimated to be 40 per cent. Soya bean oil is now in second place. Malaysia and Indonesia control almost 90 per cent of the market. More than 80 per cent of the world’s palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia.
Malaysia, which at one time was a leading producer, is now behind Indonesia. Production in Malaysia has stagnated at about 18 million tonnes a year. Available land is limited. The only area left for expansion is in Sarawak. Even there, expansion is constrained by deep peat soils, which cost more to develop.
Malaysia, despite some unfounded claims by non-governmental organisations, still remains committed to maintaining the country’s more than 60 per cent of natural forest cover, legislated as permanent reserves. Despite this, many NGOs, for reasons best known to them, have not stopped criticising palm oil.
Since Malaysia and Indonesia control 90 per cent of the world’s palm oil market, one would expect them to work together to get the best returns from palm oil. It is only logical that the two countries pursue a win-win collaboration. Unfortunately, they have not. The competition has heated up.
Recently, Indonesia changed its palm oil export duty structure, denying palm oil refineries in Malaysia marketshare.
The Indonesian government introduced new lower export duties on both crude and refined palm oils. The new duty regime also includes an export tax differential between the two oils. Experts agree this downward revision of the export tax structure for crude palm oil (CPO) and refined palm olein is likely to have implications for the global palm oil market.
The export marketshare between two of the world’s largest exporters, Malaysia and Indonesia, will see change, most likely favouring Indonesia. As a result, many expect increased investments in the refining sector in Indonesia. The move will intensify Indonesia’s competition with Malaysia. In the end, it will be a lose-lose situation for both.
Export tax on refined palm olein was reduced from 25 per cent to 13 per cent. For crude palm oil, the duty cut was smaller, from 25 per cent to 22.5 per cent. What is clear from the adjustment is that the Indonesian government wants to promote the export of processed palm oils and capture the benefit of value addition locally. This will most likely upset the refining business in markets such as India, which also deploys the duty structure to encourage downstream investments in edible oils. How would India respond?
With export tax nearly halved, the export competitiveness of Indonesian refined oils will improve considerably, at the expense of refiners in Malaysia.
At the same time, a much smaller duty reduction in crude palm oil means that for the export market, the product will continue to remain relatively more expensive and, therefore, less competitive. This, in turn, will encourage larger local sales of CPO to domestic refiners. It is also likely that CPO producers may set up fresh refining capacities to take advantage of the fiscal concession.

Edible Palm Oil

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A new path for development policy in Papua New Guinea

A new path for development policy in Papua New Guinea

Prime Minister Michael Somare

Business News: China targets investment in major sectors
24 Apr 2011... on Monday while meeting with prime minister Sir Michael Somare that China encourages its enterprises to expand investment in PNG. -
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Business News: PM lauds InterOil's ability to raise capital for ...
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Papua New Guinea Blogs
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Crowne Plaza boss wins top award


THE much-coveted award from the Intercontinental Hotels Group for this year went to Crowne Plaza Port Moresby’s general manager Tim Pollock.The awards event was hosted in Singapore last week.The award has been considered an achievement not only for the Crowne Plaza but also for Papua New Guinea because the recognition covers countries in the Asia-Australasia region.Other participating nations included countries in Asia, the Pacific and Australia and New Zealand.The award had drawn attention to the vast potential that PNG has as a country in what it has to offer.The general manager’s award of the year looks at categories of financial management of the hotel, guest experience, how well the hotel does as a responsible business and community relations.Pollock received a surprise welcome back from the hotel personnel who expressed pride over his feat.“I am very honoured to have won the award I am privileged to be the GM of this hotel but I am just part of the achievement,” Pollock said.“It is the people who are a big part of this, and I would encourage the staff to keep up the great effort,” he continued.Pollock, who previously lived in PNG, is in his third year as Crowne Plaza general manager.

RAIL inks deal to plant 900ha of oil palm ~oct2010


THE Ramu Agri Industries Ltd (RAIL) will plant more than 900ha of oil palm on a customary land in Morobe under a sub-lease agreement with landowners.The deal was signed between RAIL and the Aridagin Incorporated Land Group (ILG) last Wednesday, under which the company will plant 919ha of oil palm on the Ngaru No. 1 customary land.In a statement, RAIL said for the first time in the company’s history since its inception in the Morobe and Madang provinces, an agreement had been reached between the company and an ILG in Umi Azera at Markham district.RAIL general manager Jamie Graham assured the landowners that his company would work closely in partnership with the Aridagin ILG to make sure the people reaped the benefits from this pioneering project.He added this was a first of its kind in the province for the company and both parties would benefit in the long term.Responding on behalf of the Aridagin ILG, chairman James Nerius thanked RAIL for the partnership and paid tribute to all members who have been a part of the whole process towards the agreement signing last Wednesday.A clan leader, Martin Pari, also thanked the company and assured RAIL that he was proud to have his clan involved in such a lucrative partnership project “where my people would benefit highly from”.RAIL continues to develop and support community projects that achieve national objectives while protecting and furthering the interests of its shareholders.RAIL said it would ensure that it always operated with care for the environment for long-term sustainability of the project.

APNG to invest K6m on latest flying gears


THE Airlines PNG will invest K6 million to install state-of-the-art avionics equipment for its fleet of Twin Otter (DHC- 6) aircraft.APNG said its fleet of DHC-6 aircraft will undergo a massive avionics upgrade in the coming months as part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to passenger safety in one of the world’s toughest flying environments.The K6 million-investment would take the Twin Otter fleet to a whole new level, far exceeding all industry standards and safety requirements. Under the new technology, the fleet would meet “next generation” flight deck standards.“There is no doubt the rugged terrain in which our pilots fly in presents them with daily challenges, being that PNG is one of the most difficult destinations to fly in,” APNG chief operating officer Bruce Alabaster said.“Until now our aircraft have exceeded safety standards and guidelines, but under the new system, each aircraft will be given a further avionics boost which will give pilots a whole new suite of capabilities.”These enhancements will mean APNG’s Twin Otter aircraft are fully-fitted with the most modern equipment available. The avionics will also be upgraded to include dual latest standard global positioning system units which will avail the aircraft with 18 new approaches within PNG, mainly at airfields where there is presently no approach available in bad weather.The new flight deck will include the latest technology synthetic vision system providing both pilots on board with an accurate three dimensional picture of terrain around the aircraft, even in cloud or at night.

Tosali: ’10 budget sees K533.3 million surplus

THE 2010 budget would have a surplus of K533.3 million, 2.1% of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to current estimates released by Secretary for Finance and Treasurer Simon Tosali.Tosali said the estimated surplus was due to the strengthening of global economic recovery and strong domestic economic growth.“The additional revenue of K533.3 available would be spent through a supplementary budget as government continues to have competing expenditure pressures such as the LNG commitments and legal obligations,” Tosali told participants at the three-day national development forum in Port Moresby organised by Consultative Implementation Monitoring Council (CIMC).He said total expenditure was expected to be K7.6 billion this year, with K4.2 billion in recurrent budget and just over K2 billion for the development budget.He explained the higher recurrent budget in 2010 reflected the expected overspends in personal emoluments, by national departments and provincial governments.“The Department of Treasury has taken action by establishing a payroll project team to investigate the causes of these overruns … it has also written to the heads of those agencies seeking their explanations of their overruns,” Tosali said.On the development budget, he said the increased development component is for the payment of remaining business development grants related to the PNG LNG project while grants and ITC had also increased this year.Tosali said total government revenue and grants of K1.8 billion was a lot higher than the outcome last year and this due largely to the higher receipts from the mining and petroleum tax (MPT) collected in the first of the year.The higher MPT estimate is due to an upward revision to commodity price assumptions.“PNG’s economy is expected to strengthen this year with the commencement of PNG LNG gas project and other mining-related projects as well as a rebound in a number o sectors following softer conditions last year.“In addition, growth is also expected to be supported by the improvement in global trade as commodity prices of PNG’s major exports strengthens on the back of growing confidence in the global economic recovery.”

Steamships’ stunning results

CONGLOMERATE Steam-ships Trading Co Ltd has had a stunning 75.5% increase in after-tax profit in the half-year to June, to a record K65.9 million, up from K38.2 million.The company's half-year results released to the Australian Stock Exchange showed that total revenues in the six months to 30 June this year had risen by 66% to K366.5 million from K220.8 million the previous year.Directors said: "Hotels, property and shipping divisions have had a solid six months to date, due to strong demand for their services."Divisional accounts showed that shipping and transport was the group's top profit spinner, contributing K32.7 million to group profit, followed by hotels with K14.5 million and property and investment with K14.3 million.Steamships directors said demand for hotel accommodation remained strong and that the Gateway and Ela Beach expansion projects in Port Moresby had been delayed by four months but were nearing completion."The 160-room Grand Papua Hotel development continues on schedule for completion next year," they said.The shipping operations also had a good half-year with high usage rates for vessels and good cost containment.Two newly-purchased barges and two tug boats have been fully commissioned starting last month.Other segments that did well included the stevedoring business and industrial and residential properties in Lae and Port Moresby.The directors said the manufacturing division had a poor start to the year but should see an improvement in the second-half due to consolidation of the Lae facility and an alternate distribution supply chain."The solid performance of the PNG economy, with its continuing stable exchange rate and low interest rates, has meant that the group has, as in previous years, been able to continue to invest with confidence in new projects and assets," they said, adding that long term investments would "grow the company".They said the second-half should see further improvement in earnings as current economic conditions persist "and the LNG project gains traction".

Waste mgt JV formed to service LNG project


A LOCAL environmental engineering company Eco Care Engineering Ltd (ECE) has signed a deal with Transpacific Industries Group Ltd (TIGL), one of Australia’s largest waste management companies, to pave the way for a waste disposal and management contract with the PNG LNG project.ECE managing director Dennis Marvin Kai and TIGL general manager-internal projects Geoff Sparks signed the agreement to signal that the joint venture is ready to take a slice of the multi-billion project.Kai, an environmental scientist with contractual jobs for Oil Search Ltd, told reporters he was grateful to the resource companies in PNG for giving him a wealth of experience that enabled him to bid for contracts from the gas project.Kai said he was asked by his client in the PNG LNG project to get into a joint venture with Transpacific to boost his resources.“Oil Search introduced me to Transpacific,” Kai said.He said he was confident Esso Highlands would award his joint venture company a waste disposal contract covering the upstream-to-midstream side of the project and plant sites including portion 152 in Central.“Other local companies want to go for other contracts and not a single one has considered the dirty job,” he said.He said Transpacific had all the resources and expertise to be able to work on the prospective project.Among previous resource projects that Kai was engaged with included the Porgera gold mine, Ok Tedi copper mine and the Oil Search-operated Kutubu oil fields.

BSP: H1 net profit K163.45m

BANK South Pacific has recorded yet another impressive half-year consolidated profit of K209.06 million, up almost 10% from last year’s take of K190.48 million.After-tax profit was K163.45 million, the bank said.BSP chairman Noreo Beangke yesterday said the after-effect of global financial crisis last year triggered “a year of mixed business prospect, economic lethargy and persistent uncertainty”.However, under these conditions, BPS performed credibly to post a solid year-on-year increased profit, buoyed by PNG economy’s being relatively insulated from the global financial crisis, some resilience and recovery in the prices of its key exports, and of course, the optimism surrounding the LNG project, Beangke said.He said this year, the PNG economy had progressed well along the same path last year.“The underlying contributing factors remained unchanged, reflected in the outcome of the first-half of this year,” he said.Beangke said the bank’s revenue was moderate due in part to a more controlled lending strategy with interest income growth level off slightly.Robust non-interest income growth had offset weaker interest income.In term of expenses, work on operation improvement initiatives across the organisation which began last year under the BSP’s transformation programme, continued strongly during the first six months.Beangke said increased investment in risk management and internal control and process reengineering throughout the organisation were some of the continuing focus areas.He added there had been continued growth in the level of BSP group total assets from K9.398 billion at the end of last year to K9.815 billion as of June 30, this year.Beangke said the customer loan and receivables portfolio had exceeded K3.77 billion, a net increase of 4%, or K136 million, from the level of K3.638 billion at the end of last year.

China targets investment in major sectors


CHINA, the second biggest economy in the world after the US, has expressed willingness to invest in Papua New Guinea’s major sectors of agriculture, forestry, fishery, energy, telecommunications and transportChinese premier Wen Jiabao said in Tianjin on Monday while meeting with prime minister Sir Michael Somare that China encourages its enterprises to expand investment in PNG.China’s People’s Daily online yesterday reported that Sir Michael was attending the annual meeting of the new champions 2010, also known as the summer davos in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin.As a friend and partner of Pacific island countries, Wen told Sir Michael that China would continue to provide assistance within its capacity for this region’s development.The premiere also congratulated Sir Michael on the country’s 35th anniversary of independence, believing that the PNG would make more achievements in its social and economic development.In response, Sir Michael said Papua New Guinea valued the friendly ties with China, and firmly adhered to the one-China policy.Applauding China’s unselfish help to PNG’s national reconstruction, Sir Michael said Papua New Guinea welcomed the investment by Chinese enterprises to push forward bilateral co-operation.

Origin to sign hydro-power deal with Qld, PNG govts

AUSTRALIAN energy company Origin Energy says it will sign an agreement with the governments of Papua New Guinea and Queensland to support the development of a large hydro-power project.The 50:50 joint venture between Origin and PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd could ultimately see the hydro-power plant built at Purari River, the country’s third largest waterway located in the Gulf province.The Australian Associated Press reported in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper on Wednesday that under the plan, electricity from the project would be used to power villages in PNG and would be transmitted to Australia via Weipa to join the national electricity grid at Townsville.Plans for such a project have been in existence since the 1970s, a company spokesman said, but have now been updated.The newspaper reported that on Wednesday, a memorandum of co-operation would be signed with the joint venture company, PNG Energy Developments Ltd (PNG EDL) concerning the plans.“Capturing the power of the existing river flows, the development under consideration would have the capacity to generate approximately 1800MW of renewable baseload electricity,” an Origin spokesperson was quoted as saying.PNG EDL is currently evaluating the hydro-electric potential of Purari at Wabo, in Gulf .“By itself, the run-off from the Wabo delta is about equal to one quarter of the run-off from all Australia’s waterways, and PNG’s highlands receive eight to 11 inches of rainfall each year,” the spokesman said.“If the project is completed, it would supply into Queensland about five times more renewable power than currently generated in the state.”Origin chief executive Grant King said in a statement that the ongoing assessment of the project was consistent with his company’s pursuit of renewable energy opportunities.

Hydro-power plan trashed

ORIGIN Energy’s ambitious plans to build a multi-billion-dollar hydro-electric plant in Gulf province near Purari River and send the electricity back to Australia via an undersea cable failed to impress investors or analysts.By 1343AEST last Wednesday after investors digested the news, shares in Origin fell A$0.16, about 1%, to A$15.49 and had been as low as A$15.48.Last Wednesday after Origin announced the deal signing, State One Stockbroking energy analyst Peter Kopetz said the plans for the plant sounded “far fetched” and he doubted he would see it built in his lifetime.“It reminds me of the good old days of PNG supplying gas to Queensland which came up to nothing, and I think that is what is likely to happen to this as well,” Kopetz was quoted on Bloomberg online news.“This is nothing new, and there have long been talks of getting electricity from PNG.“Maybe the next thing will be getting water from PNG,” Kopetz said.Under the plan unveiled last Wednesday, a 50:50 joint venture between Origin and PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd could build the plant on Purari River, waterway in the nation, providing it is supported by a feasibility study, due for completion in 2012.Power generated from the plant would be fed into the Australian east coast grid via Weipa in Queensland and also power villages in PNG.Origin said the hydro plant could generate 1,800MW of baseload electricity, and would be the first project to deliver year-round baseload renewable energy into mainland Australia.A resources analyst at Australian Stock Report, Stan Shamu, said investors were wary of the project given its likely high costs.“Investors are questioning whether the feasibility study will go well and the capital expenditure on the project,” Shamu said.“The market doesn’t like uncertainty, so if they don’t feel they don’t have enough information to make a decision, their initial reaction is to be cautious,” he said.Queensland premier Anna Bligh has said green power from the plant would help Townsville become the state’s next major industrial city and could also help further develop bauxite deposits at Weipa.

PM lauds InterOil’s ability to raise capital for Gulf project

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has expressed confidence in InterOil’s ability to raise the capital necessary to move to the next stage to develop the condensate stripping plant at the Elk/Antelope in the Gulf province.Sir Michael, who witnessed the signing of the heads of agreement between InterOil and Energy World Corp (EWC) in New York last Tuesday, said: “I am pleased to witness this signing which now confirms InterOil’s ability to raise the capital necessary to move to the next stages of this development.“I am delighted that InterOil will develop the condensate stripping plant in partnership with Mitsui and the LNG project at the same time.“These developments mean I will leave politics in 2012 satisfied with the knowledge that PNG’s economic future is on a prosperous path.“The years ahead – 2013 onwards – will be an optimum time for the people of Papua New Guinea.“This government has laid the foundation with medium to long-term plans for all sectors that are linked to our strategic development plan and our vision 2050.”

Bligh bats for PNG hydro-power plan

QUEENSLAND premier Anna Bligh has talked up the potential of two big renewable energy projects in North Queensland and Papua New Guinea’s Purari River, saying they could help the region take the “next giant leap forward”.She also quelled fears the PNG scheme could hurt renewable energy proposals in North Queensland, saying the two schemes were complementary.The 50-50 owned Australian-based energy company Origin Energy and PNG Sustainable Development Program’s ambitious plans to build a multi-billion-dollar hydro-electric plant in Gulf near Purari River and send the electricity back to Australia via an undersea cable have not impressed investors or analysts.The Townsville Bulletin yesterday, reporting on Bligh’s six-day visit to the North Queensland, said a host of renewable energy projects had been mooted along what had been dubbed the clean energy corridor between Townsville and Mount Isa.A BIS Schrapnel report has found there was potential for 900MW of installed renewable capacity to be connected to the grid through an AC transmission line by 2015-16 - 300MW in baseload power from biomass and solar thermal sources and another 600MW from wind power.The newspaper reported that Origin Energy was assessing the potential for an 1800MW hydro-electric scheme on the Purari River in PNG and exporting power into Australia’s energy grid via a cable link to North Queensland by 2020.There have been fears the PNG scheme could ruin plans for North Queensland schemes although Bligh and energy consultant John O’Brien, a director of one of the companies pushing development of the AC transmission line called the CopperString project, doused that yesterday.Bligh said the two projects complemented one another while O’Brien said the increasing demand for electricity meant the region would need all the sources of power it could get to meet requirements.“I think the Townsville community, particularly the business community, understands that reliable base-load power is critical to this economy taking its next great leap forward,” Bligh said.

Origin: PNG-Qld hydro plan doable

DESPITE analysts labelling the multibillion-dollar PNG-Queensland hydro plan as “ambitious’’, Origin Energy says technically, it can now be achieved with little fuss.Last September, Origin Energy’s Grant King announced a plan to harness the resource from PNG’s Purari River to generate 1800MW of hydro power that would be shared between PNG and Australia.Mathew Murphy, an analyst, wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald last week that it was a project investigated 30 years ago but abandoned as impractical due in part to the electricity that would have been lost along the transmission line.“Analysts have labelled the multibillion-dollar plan ‘ambitious’ but King says that technically, it can now be achieved with little fuss.“However, there is an acknowledgment from Origin that building the project in PNG may prove the most ‘ambitious’ part,” Murphy wrote in SMH.As projects like the US$15 billion ExxonMobil-led PNG LNG development has already done, Origin has started preliminary work to determine what it can leave behind for the locals as its ‘’social licence’’ to operate.As Newmont Mining’s former president Pierre Lassonde said: “You don’t get your social licence by going to a government ministry and making an application or simply paying a fee.It requires far more than money to truly become part of the communities in which you operate, Murphy said.It was something that Origin had already recognised, Lassonde said.

Economy to grow 7.1% this year, says forecast

PAPUA New Guinea's economy grew by an estimated 5.5% last year and is expected to grow 7.1% this year.According to the Deloitte Touche 2011 budget alert, the economy was able to weather the global recession of last year reasonably well, with the financial sector remaining resilient due to relatively low exposure to overseas financial instruments and a strong domestic funding base.However, the most heavily affected sectors were agriculture, forestry, fisheries and the manufacturing sectors due to declining overseas demand.Themed Building the foundations for economic growth and prosperity, the 2011 budget in many ways can be described as a "steady as she goes" budget, which builds on planning done in previous years and takes advantage of the increased revenue stream expected to be available next year.As in previous years, the government seeks to promote a stable macro economic and fiscal environment and to that end has announced a balanced budget.The global recovery together with expected increased commodity prices and production will result in additional mineral revenue in 2011.The government set out what it saw as a number of risks to the fiscal and economic outlook on which the budget is framed.These include the fragility of the global economy in terms of its impact on PNG exports and commodity prices, delays to the PNG LNG and other resource projects, and the government diverting from fiscal discipline and adding to already strong inflationary pressures.On the plus side, it was recognised that a number of mining and gas projects are under active consideration which would provide a boost to the PNG economy if they proceed.As such, the government will fund its established framework, the national agriculture development plan 2007-2016 with K109 million, with support also going to other sectors of agriculture.Fisheries will be receiving K55 million to foster investments in marine industrial zones and the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang.It will also receive K15 million for the Coastal Fisheries Development Programme.Forestry will be receiving support in terms of programmes aimed at, among others, support for forest research institute rehabilitation and support for sustainable forest management.

Nasfund expands asset base to K2.1b

The National – Wednesday, December 1, 2010

THE National Superannuation Fund Ltd (Nasfund) has expanded its asset base to K2.1 billion, up 19%, during the 12-month period to October this year.Annualised since 1999, Nasfund has grown at an average 29.4% per annum over the 11 years to October making it the fastest-growing superannuation group in the country.This was disclosed in a brief report in Nasfund’s newsletter for the last quarter of the year released by joint executive officer Ian Tarutia.Joint-chief executive officer Rod Mitchell told The National the growth was mainly attributed to large increase in memberships and other investments.He said active contributing Nasfund members were now 138,241, with more than 1,906 employers contributing to the funds.Tarutia, in his Christmas message, said Nasfund disposed of non-core properties according to board resolution.He said this investment and risk management strategy recognised that the portfolio required a rebalancing in favour of relatively new construction in the portfolio.On the new property development, the Edge 63 luxury apartment development is taking shape with the building now coming out of the ground at Harbour City.“We aim to complete this building by December 2011,” Tarutia said.

NBPOL earns top sales revenue for first

The National – Tuesday, December 7, 2010
NEW Britain Palm Oil (NBPO) has this year generated US$355.3 million in sales revenue for the first nine months of this year to September.Profit before tax (PBT) for this period was US$87.9 million excluding the revaluation of biological assets, while expecting an end of year PBT at around US$117 million, excluding the revaluation of biological assets.The PNG-based company also raised a total of 22% ahead of the previous corresponding period with 335,086 tonnes of crude palm and kernel oil in total productions by September.However, total oil production is expected to reach 435,000 tonnes by end of the year based on increased hectares of palm in harvest, higher crude oil palm extraction rate and strong demand for refined oil from Europe.It is expected that total revenue for FY2010 to reach about US$450 million.NBO forward sold approximately 53,800 tonnes of all oils into the fourth quarter at an average price of US$863 per tonne, expecting a balance of oil production to be sold at an average price of US$880 per tonne to Dec 31.NBPO also had a significant production average when it acquired 80% of the Kula Palm Oil Ltd (KPOL), formerly CTP PNG Ltd, last April, contributing 236,639 tonnes of fruit bunches.It is believed that KPOL is operating below its production capacity and should take at least two years to bring its crop yield and production efficiencies into line with current extraction rates.

Brian Bell’s Xmas sales blitz

The National – Wednesday, December 8, 2010

By GRACE AUKA UPNG journalism studentBRIAN Bell’s sales blitz has attracted a lot of city residents on the second day of its Greatest sale ever sales blitz where customers bought goods on special prices.Thousands of items at clearance price included gardening tools, homeware appliances, gift ware, sporting equipments, audio visual-portable stereos and many more.According to Brian Bell staff Leonard Vincent, it was a mega sale that would last for two weeks at the Sir John Guise stadium indoor complex.“The mega sale will be an ongoing one because there are a lot of items yet to be sold,” he said.The mega sale is to give way for the arrival of new stocks.So if you are thinking of buying early Christmas presents for this festive season, Brian Bell has it all.

OSL-PNG’s 20-yr partnership

The National – Wednesday, December 8, 2010

PAPUA New Guinea has, for more than 20 years, been enjoying substantial benefits from the Oil Search Ltd, whose fundamental benefits structure is progressive by world standards.Speaking at the 11th mining and petroleum conference in Sydney on Monday, OSL managing director Peter Botten told participants that the resource business in PNG had never been healthier in terms of major project development.He said, however, the true potential of resource wealth would not be reached without appropriate management of the huge benefit streams that would come from new developments.Botten said since 1992, the PNG government, provincial and local level governments, landowners (cash or non-cash or indirect payments) had received a total of K11.931 billion, with the government as the main recipient of the oil industry with K8.796 billion to date.The oil industry has a record investment in petroleum exploration and development, led by the PNG LNG, other projects and continued investment in oil.There is potential for significant development which will only reach potential if projects operate in a stable environment, have good management and governance of benefit streams which are essential for project stability and have the need to see benefits away from resources areas.Botten explained that primary benefit streams were mandated by the Oil and Gas Act (1996) and other legislation, while others were more discretionary and were managed through negotiation by the operator with the stakeholders.There is, however, a need for transparency and understanding of the benefits streams in order for it to work.This includes MoA funds distributions, which required greater governance, if they are to deliver fair outcomes.Botten said what had worked in the benefit streams included the Mineral Resource Development Co (MRDC) payments of equity dividend and royalties in the fields.Mandated apportionment of benefits to various stakeholders had worked, with a percentage given to community infrastructure and future generations.Botten said it was more important than ever to manage benefits in a rigorous and transparent way.He said recent steps by the government regarding establishment of independent sovereign wealth funds for receipts from PNG LNG was a new major positive initiative.These first steps were encouraging and needed a full understanding by all stakeholders, he said.

BonCafe! at Vision City

The National – Thursday, December 23, 2010

By VERONICA FRANCISIT was double delight for Christmas as City Pharmacy the country’s biggest health and beauty chain opened its store and coffee shop at the new Vision City Megamall in Port Moresby yesterday.The new shop is CPL’s 29th outlet, thus bringing the number to 12 for Port Moresby and 17 in the provinces.BonCafe, the Australian international coffee franchise, now has four coffee shops, namely at Deloitte Tower, Hardware Haus Waigani and Stop n Shop in downtown.According to CPL Group marketing manager Prue Go, the new health and beauty store boasts of exclusive personal care items, health supplements, general merchandise, IDesign appliances and many more.“There are also two experienced pharmacists at the new outlet to give professional advice, dispense with medicine using reviews and provide health checks,” she said.Go revealed that with the festive season here, City Pharmacy would be having specials on Sunday, where prices of goods would be slashed from 50% to 70%.City Pharmacy is under the umbrella organisation of CPL Group,which also owns Stop n Shop supermarkets, Hardware Haus Store and BonCafe franchise.

Vision City gets BSP ATM

The National – Tuesday, December 28, 2010
By BOSORINA ROBYRUNNING out of cash while shopping at Vision City Megamall is now a thing of the past with the installation of two Bank South Pacific automatic teller machines at the shopping centre’s premises.This was in line with the bank’s roll-out programme to strengthen its position as a bank that “provides convenient, accessible and cost-effective banking solutions”.RH Trading general manager Ang Cheng Chooi said the partnership between their companies would offer greater convenience to customers as they show their commitment to meeting the needs of today’s busy consumers.BSP head of retail network Kili Tambua said the expansion of BSP’s ATM network allowed its customers to choose how they bank with BSP – at a time, place and location convenient to them.“Using a BSP ATM, a customers could check balances, withdraw cash, get phone credits, obtain mini-statements, transfer funds and change PIN,” he said.Electronic banking transactions were cheaper than transactions performed by a teller in a branch, Tambua said.These ATMs would also benefit international travellers who may use their MasterCard on the BSP network.Tambua said BSP’s efforts to extend its ATM network would go a long way towards making ATMs more accessible to customers.

Local firm opens new lodging house in POM

The National –Wednesday, January 5, 2011
By PATRICK TALU A NATIONALLY owned company has opened up a new lodging facility at the heart of Port Moresby’s Boroko suburb with services similar to those offered by hotels in Port Moresby.Peai Lodge, a subsidiary of the Yumi Yet Group of Co, is set top offer luxuries rooms at affordable rates for people who could not afford expensive hotels.Managing director Eke Lama told The National during the opening yesterday that the main idea in setting up the lodging facility was to cater for ordinary people, tourists and locals who are unable to afford expensive hotel rooms in Port Moresby.“The whole purpose in building this lodge is to help people who cannot afford expensive hotels in Port Moresby while on business or leisure in Port Moresby,” Eke said.“It is very interesting to note that the current PNG LNG project has attracted more expatriates who occupy most hotels in Port Moresby and pushed away locals who cannot match their affordability.“We saw the need as well as the opportunity and tapped into the opportunity available,” Lama added.Lodge manager David Gagma added that the establishment of the lodging facility is in line with national government’s tourism policy under the Tourism Promotion Authority.“It’s very fitting given the current economic boom driven by the LNG project where it is going to attract many international tourists and locals into Port Moresby.“We are not only making it cheaper but also looking at making the best among lodges in Port Moresby.“We have incentives like breakfast and dinner provided from the same package of K260 per night which other hotels and lodge don’t have.“That make us the best and cheapest lodges in Port Moresby,” Gagma, who is the former general manager Granville Hotel at 6-Mile, said.The construction of the lodge cost K2.3 million and took 120 days to complete. It is fully furnished with 57 self-contained rooms including multi-TV channels, coffee making facilities, fridge and six common rooms.

China inks deal to build 4 LNG ships

The National- Monday, January 17, 2011
EXXONMOBIL, operator of the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, and Mitsui & Co Ltd have signed a contract with China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) signed to build four LNG ships to ship China’s import of gas from Papua New Guinea and Australia.The contract was signed last Saturday without revealing the contract value. It is said to be China’s first overseas order for such an advanced carrier to ship LNG out of Papua New Guineas and Australia.The Texas-based company said in an email that was later reported in Bloomberg online news that Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co, Ltd, a subsidiary of CSSC, will build the ships for Mitsui, a Japanese shipping giant. ExxonMobil said the ships are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2016. “ExxonMobil was quoted saying: “The fleet will be used for shipping China’s imports of liquefied natural gas from Australia and Papua New Guinea.”In 2009, ExxonMobil contracted with China’s major oil and gas producer PetroChina and refiner Sinopec to transport exports about 425 tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. A liquefied natural gas carrier is a tanker ship designed for transporting liquefied gas at a temperature of minus 163 degrees Celsius, and marks an important part in the LNG supply chain. Only a handful of nations, such as the US, Japan and the South Korea have the ability to build such ships. Hudong-Zhonghua is China’s only LNG ship builder. Its first ship was delivered in April 2008. It has completed five vessels, with one still under-construction. The company did not disclose the price of the vessels.

APNG expands fleet with 10th Twin Otter

The National- Monday, January 24, 2011
AIRLINES PNG (APNG) last Thursday announced an expansion of its fleet with the purchase of a De Havilland DHC-6-300 (Twin Otter) aircraft.The acquisition, which brings the total of Twin Otter fleet to 10, is aimed not only at providing APNG with enhanced capacity for new services but also at easing the burden on existing operations.In a statement , APNG said the aircraft, with a capacity of 19 seats, was still in the United States, where it would remain for modifications before it is ferried to PNG by middle of next month.These modifications would include installation of the state-of-the-art avionics equipment, which were announced last year as part of a fleet-wide initiative for the upgrade of all APNG Twin Otter aircraft.“This year, APNG plans to increase its fleet size by up to 25%,” an unidentified APNG spokesperson was quoted in the statement.“Delivery of this aircraft represents the first step in this expansion process which is necessary to position the company for anticipated growth opportunities,” the statement said.The Twin Otter operates shorter regional flying missions for APNG and remains integral in future plans to service remote areas more efficiently for both corporate clients and the general public.The Twin Otter would also be used to provide vital community services such as mail delivery and emergency medical evacuations, the spokesperson said.“The Twin Otter is one of very few aircraft types suited to the difficult operating environment in PNG, particularly in the more remote areas of the country,” where it would provide vital community services such as mail delivery and emergency medical evacuations,” the spokesperson said.The “Twin Otter” would be used to provide vital community services such as mail delivery and emergency medical evacuations,” the spokesperson said.

Coral Sea Hotels unveils new units

The National - Wednesday, February 2, 2011

By JASON GIMA WURIPAPUA NEW Guinea’s largest hotel chain, the Coral Sea Hotels, has opened its brand new K60 million developments at the Ela Beach and Gateway hotels and apartments. The Ela Beach hotel and apartments boast 42 brand-new premier suites, which consist of hotel suites, kitchen suites and spa suites designed for business or leisure travellers.General manager Glen Murphy said the new facilities included a gymnasium, lap pool, spa, and board room with library and internet facilities.With secure undercover parking, the property offers the latest in luxury accommodation, Murphy said.He said the current development in Port Moresby and the rest of the group had been spurred by the rise in the economy.Murphy said the lift in business had encouraged Steamships to invest in these expansions and refurbishments.“Coral Sea Hotel’s target is its current network of corporate clients and conference delegates. “The result of these refurbishments and an upgrade in service due to extensive training has shown the flow of strong and loyal customers remaining and retuning to our hotels,” he added.The Gateway Hotel and apartments located at 7-Mile overlooking the Jackson international airport has also opened doors to its brand-new state of the art facility.

Industrial park planned for Gulf

The National- Thursday, February 3, 2011
By ANCILLA WRAKUALEGULF will see the development of an industrial park project that will cater for all the resource project activities in the province like the PNG LNG Project in partnership with Inter-Oil and Energy World International.Gulf Governor Havila Kavo revealed this at a media conference yesterday.Kavo said extensive studies such as social mapping and environmental studies are underway in projected impacted areas to establish snapshots on the likely impacts and other issues to allow for equal participation from the people.“We hope the industrial park would help Gulf citizens and PNG at large,” said Kavo.He said PNG is blessed with vast resources and these resources should be used to industrialise PNG.Gulf has established a business arm called Gulf Oil and Gas Company (GOGC) which is solely responsible for resource development projects in the province.GOGC chief executive Mark Baia said they were doing checks and balances to ensure that everyone was included in the projects and that relevant studies and awareness were conducted before the implementation.Baia highlighted that once everything came into place, they were also looking at developing key such as airport and deep water port facilities and housing infrastructure.He said they were looking at improving cash economy such as local coffee processing and coconut production for the people.Also yesterday, two consultants who would be engaged in carrying out marine and ecological studies in the impacted areas around Ihu, Baimuru and Kikori were commissioned.Prominent marine biologist Pochon Lili said he was honoured to be included in the project and that it was vital the studies should be conducted to set baseline and data on what was on the ground.

TWL, Lynden ink JV deal

The National- Friday, February 4, 2011

By PATRICK TALUPAPUA New Guinea’s biggest prime and logistic mover Trans Wonderland Limited (TWL) will venture into air and sea transport services to meet the growing logistics demand from the PNG LNG project and other new resource developments in the country.This was revealed yesterday by TWL managing director Larry Andagali during the signing of a deal with one of world’s leading logistic movers – Alaska-based Lynden Logistics.Lynden Logistics’ country manager Greg Vaughan lauded TWL’s plan and said: “From PNG we can build a sustainable global business.“We are looking forward to the possibilities of developing a sustainable multimodal transport business and providing the best possible services in PNG and the Australasia region.“It’s perfect for us to begin here in PNG and I have no doubt we can achieve that,” Vaughan said.The companies signed the deal that would pave the way for them to develop an integrated transport and logistic company for fast, efficient and quality services to clients and explore other opportunities in the Australasian region.Andagali said the deal marked yet “another significant milestone for TWL in its quest to becoming a truly integrated transport and logistics company”.“I admire the commitment and determination for Lynden Logistics in developing a world-class company from its humble beginning as a two-truck company some 60 years ago.He said Lynden and TWL have some parallel in history as both companies started small then grew with resource based development project.“We also have an opportunity to use this relationship to explore benefits derived from setting up well-managed landowner future funds like Alaska Permanent Fund.TWL, with a fleet of more than 70 prime movers and growing rapidly, makes the joint venture the biggest road transport company in PNG.Meanwhile, Education Minister and Chairman of the Hela Transitional Authority James Marape commended TWL for achieving success as a landowner company.Marabe has urged all the LNG project area landowners companies to unite for successful business ventures

Rich waste mgt deals at LNG site

The National - Friday, February 11, 2011
By PATRICK TALURICH waste management project contracts are waiting at the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project of ExxonMobil.Contract opportunities are available to local contractors, particularly the project landowner companies and local waste management enterprises.The business enterprise centre (EC) set up by ExxonMobil to help LNG landowner companies to get contracts and start their businesses said: “Waste management is the next big opportunity in the country”.In highlights released yesterday, EC said ExxonMobil was looking for a PNG company that could handle wastes generated from the construction and operational phases of the gas project.EC said there had been meetings held to enable local waste management companies to take advantage of opportunities offered.One of the companies that showed interest was Faiwol Investors Ltd, a Tabubil-based company currently engaged by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd in waste disposal.EC also said PNG suppliers present at those meetings had indicated they would take the opportunity of presenting proposals to ExxonMobil.Qualified companies have been given six months to submit their proposals.

Rich waste mgt deals at LNG site

The National - Friday, February 11, 2011
By PATRICK TALURICH waste management project contracts are waiting at the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project of ExxonMobil.Contract opportunities are available to local contractors, particularly the project landowner companies and local waste management enterprises.The business enterprise centre (EC) set up by ExxonMobil to help LNG landowner companies to get contracts and start their businesses said: “Waste management is the next big opportunity in the country”.In highlights released yesterday, EC said ExxonMobil was looking for a PNG company that could handle wastes generated from the construction and operational phases of the gas project.EC said there had been meetings held to enable local waste management companies to take advantage of opportunities offered.One of the companies that showed interest was Faiwol Investors Ltd, a Tabubil-based company currently engaged by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd in waste disposal.EC also said PNG suppliers present at those meetings had indicated they would take the opportunity of presenting proposals to ExxonMobil.Qualified companies have been given six months to submit their proposals.

SI seeks help from PNG investors

The National - Monday, February 28, 2011
SOLOMON Islands prime minister Danny Philip has called on PNG investors to assist his government with its decentralisation policy.Philip made this call at the opening of the investment meeting between the Solomon Islands and PNG officials last week.The meeting involved over 20 high-level investment officials from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and others.With the government in its final stage to complete the 2011 national budget, which will be tabled at the March 28 sitting of parliament, Philip said one of his government’s signature policies was the design and creation of economic growth centres in the rural areas.“My government will involve cooperators from private sectors and stakeholders to establish economic growth centres in locations throughout the country,” he said.“The rational is to ensure there is meaningful and equitable development spread throughout the nation.”

PNG invest mission to SI

The National - Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A PAPUA New Guinea investment mission will visit the Solomon Islands on Feb 25-28 to look at investment opportunities in the island-country.The mission will have about 20 chief executives and senior officers of major business companies in PNG and will be accompanied by the Solomon Islands High commissioner to PNG, Bernard Bata’anisia.The Solomon Islands would also use the opportunity to strategically market itself as a potential destination for investment and to take advantage of the businesses and spin offs from the huge LNG project in PNG.Service industries, tourism and fisheries will feature prominently in the seminar.Bata’anisia said generally PNG was becoming an important partner for Solomon Islands in terms of trade and investment, economic relations, development cooperation and assistance.He said because of PNG’s strategic and economic links between Asia and Pacific region, the Solomon Islands government wished to work closely with the government to take advantage of these economic opportunities.Over the years, the level of PNG investment in Solomon Islands has grown substantially and last year, over 30 companies have registered with a total investment of around SBD$1.3 billion (K550 million), thus creating employment for more than 1,000 Solomon Islanders.Bata’anisia said while in Honiara, the mission will attend a two-day investment seminar during the weekend, where they will have first- hand briefing and information on areas for investments, land issues, taxation laws and incentives provided for investors, as well as visiting the various sites for investment.After the seminar, the investment mission will also visit the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd, one of the major PNG investments in Solomon Islands.

STC posts K116.4m profit for 2010

The National - Thursday, March 3, 2011
STEAMSHIPS Trading Co Ltd has posted a profit after tax of K116.4 million for the 12 months ending Dec 31, 2010.In 2009, the company realised a profit of K96.6 million.The report said that sales of K775.3 million represented an increase of 56.3% over 2009 sales of K406 million.These figures included Steamships’ equity-accounted share of associate’s results, including Consort and Datec which, in 2009 first-half , were reported as associate companies.Thus, on a “like for like” basis, sales increased by 23.8% and profit after tax and minority interests have increased by 20.6%.Depreciation last year was K66.4 million as against the K48 million the previous year.Interest on borrowings was K28.1 million compared to K12.2 million in 2009.Total capital expenditure for the year was K190.2 million as against K195.4 million in 2009.This was below budget due to slight delays in building projects but was on track for this year.Hotels, property and shipping divisions had a solid 12 months, due to strong demand for their respective services.Demand for hotel accommodation remained strong, and with the completion of the Gateway and Ela Beach Hotel projects in Port Moresby, they would add to the profitability of the Coral Sea Hotels group this year.Ongoing developments for this year would also see the opening of the 160 room Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby and 20 additional rooms at the Highlander Hotel in Mt Hagen.

NBPOL: US$131m profit

The National - Thursday, March 3, 2011
DESPITE bad weather conditions last year, New Britain Palm Oil (NBPO) delivered a 54% increase on its pre-tax profits to US$131.2 million (K339 million).Adding plantation acquisitions, NBPO raised its output of fresh oil palm fruit bunches to 1.98 million tonnes last year and, with palm oil prices firm, raised revenues by 45% to US$470.5 million (K1.2 billion).NBPO highlighted an end to the difficult weather conditions which set back the group on its “30:30” targets for yield and extraction rates.NBPO chairman Antonio Monteiro de Castro said so far the rainfall this year had been below normal monsoon levels.The comments come amid observations that the La Nina weather pattern blamed for excessive rains in other palm producing countries may be subsiding.Some mills has been achieving palm oil extraction rates of 31%, beating a target of 30% and well ahead of the company average of 22.4% achieved last year – down 0.4 points on the 2009 result because of poor weather.“Palm product extraction rates with good crop quality management coupled with good engineering and process controls could yield over 30% more of palm products from a tonne of fruit,” De Castro said.NBPO also stood by a target of achieving 30 tonnes of fruit per hectare, despite yield declines at some plantations last year, and the acquisition of lower-producing estimates, limiting the group’s result to 23.6 tonnes per hectare.De Castro said the year had mixed results, adding that the group had increased fertiliser application rates to boost output.“It is evident that cropping potential in most of the group’s estates can reach 30 tonnes of fruit per hectare, as this has already been achieved in some estates.”He said the board was pleased with the continued expansion and strengthening of NBPO’s operations, and that the group remained well positioned to deliver further profitable growth.The group had already sold 178,000 tonnes of crude palm oil for US$1,063 (K2,746) a tonne this year, up from last year’s average sale price of US$850 (K2196) a tonne, which was in turn an improvement on 2009’s US$710 (K1834) a tonne.For next year, NBPOL has sold 22,500 tonnes ahead at US$933 (K2,410) a tonne.The current market spot price is about US$1,200 (K3,100) a tonne.

Sir Michael: Petromin Haus a big achievement

The National - Monday, March 7, 2011
By BOSORINA ROBBYPAPUA New Guinea’s national oil, gas and minerals company Petromin Holdings Ltd last Friday officially opened its Petromin Haus (PH) along the Hubert Murray Highway in Taurama.Prime Minister and minister responsible for Petromin, Sir Michael Somare, said this office complex “is quite a remarkable achievement by any state-owned entity in PNG”.The building was designed to be environmentally friendly, and was one of PNG’s first ever green buildings.He said while the new construction could be seen as a good sign of a growing economy, it was also a witness to the successful performance of the company.“I am truly satisfied that my government made the decision to establish a policy and legal framework to set up Petromin following the recommendations by an independent panel of eminent persons,” he said.Sir Michael said that it was a deliberate decision by the government to set up Petromin as a vehicle for the state equity participation in the technologically sophisticated and challenging oil, gas and minerals sector.“It was an initiative to basically change the landscape to ensure Papua New Guineans participate meaningfully in the vast petroleum and mineral resources sector.“I must, therefore, commend the trust managers, the board and management of Petromin for setting the foundation to realise my aspiration that Papua New Guineans become meaningful and active participants in new spheres of enterprise in their country,” he said.Petromin board chairman Brown Bai said the new building should now be seen as the engine room for generating revenue flows from oil, gas and mineral development that would be invested in nation building efforts that bring more benefits to the people.He said in its efforts to deliver on its mandate, it created six wholly-owned subsidiaries that hold equity in current and future projects.

Chinese ‘shoe king’ to invest K70m in shoe factory

The National - Tuesday, March 8, 2011
By ISAAC NICHOLASA CHINESE “shoe king” has decided to invest K70 million in a shoe factory in Port Moresby.This was revealed in a joint media conference by Commerce and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris and AUSPECT PNG Ltd chairman Wilson Xue.AUSPECT has its head office in Sydney and runs a chain of shoe stores in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne but has its shoe factories based in mainland China.Xue said when he first came to PNG, he felt uncomfortable but after spending more time here he has fallen in love with the country.“In China, people call me the ‘shoe king’ as more than 1,000 people work for me and we export millions of shoes around the world,” Xue said.“PNG is one country which has the potential to become a rich country in the world with its vast natural resources.”He said the company was looking forward to investing in PNG and a shoe factory would start in three months time and was expected to be completed by next year.Xue said the factory when its starts would provide 300 jobs to locals.Kapris said the K70 million investment would include a training component for Papua New Guineans as part of the small to medium enterprise (SME) programme to train locals with basic skills for them to start on their own.He said the factory would supply both the domestic and overseas market.

BSP: K283.15m net profit

The National - Tuesday, March 8, 2011

BANK South Pacific posted an after tax profit of K283.15 million for the financial year 2010.The bank also announced that its assets as of December last year were worth K8.655 billion, up 6% from December 2009.BSP chairman Kostas Constantinou made the disclosure in a financial result submitted to the Port Moresby Stock Exchange.The bank’s pre-tax profit was K402.10 million, up 6% from K377.96 million posted at the end of 2009.Constantinou said that emerging from period of some uncertainty into a year that held out some promise of a strengthening global recovery, and some positive expectations about the domestic economy, the BSP Group achieved sound result last year.He said this was characterised by continued profitability and balance of sheet growth, showing operational and financial stability.Constantinou said most of the growth was attributed to non-interest income streams following a fall in net interest margins occasioned by a prolonged decline in bank bill rates since late in the second quarter of the year.The newly-appointed chairman stressed the re-branding of BSP continued to be successful last year with some emphasis given to the appropriate BSP branding of newly-acquired business in Fiji.He said overall, the group posted well-rounded financial achievement for last year considering that the bank was progressing with major commitments to transform its programmes.Constantinou said much work had been required on the integration of the newly acquired Fiji business.“In 2010, there was evidence of a slow strengthening of global economic conditions with large traditional economic powers in North America and Europe showing more sustained recovery trends and the developing high-growth Asian and South American economies continuing to accelerate,” Constantinou said.“PNG’s economy became increasingly exposed to those global trends as we move closer towards major steps change expected as the LNG project reaches production phase.BSP was striving to get itself into a position where it would be able to achieve solid performances which would be competitive by global standards under these conditions.“The 2010 results showed that we continue on track with this objective,” Constantinou added.

‘Chinese corner SMEs’

The National - Friday, March 11, 2011
By PATRICK TALUA GOVERNMENT agency created to help indigenous small-to-medium size businesses has revealed that nationals account only for 10% of business activities reserved for them.The rest are in the hands of foreigners, mostly Chinese-owned.A senior officer with the business development service at the Small Business Development Corp (SBDC) revealed this during a small-to-medium entrepreneurs (SME) baseline survey workshop yesterday at March Girls Resort outside of Port Moresby.The officer, who wished to remain anonymous, told reporters almost all small-to-medium size businesses reserved for nationals have already been taken by foreigners.“Also this particular group of expatriate businessmen are using Papua New Guineans to register their business with the Investment Promotion Authority and to conduct business,” he said.“We also suspect that they don’t have bank accounts to deposit their takings from their business,” he added.When asked whether this implied that these foreigners were suspected of smuggling money out of PNG, he did not rule it out.But there were many instances where large amount of hard cash was discovered by customs officers at the airport.The officer said he did not have a record of such activities but as the custodian of SME, he knew what was happening in the small business sector.“You can see that almost all of the fast food marts are all run by Chinese … not to mention other businesses such as trye service and second-hand clothing.“That’s obvious enough to say that the SMEs have been taken over by Chinese,” he said

Holiday Inn relaunched

The National - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE new Holiday Inn sign is making its way around the world and yesterday, the premier hotel officially relaunched the Holiday Inn Port Moresby (HIPM).“The new sign is a seal of approval that this hotel exemplifies the standards of the A$1 billion Holiday Inn relaunch … the largest relaunch in the history of the hospitality industry,” Tim Pollock, area general manager for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), said.“As part of the re-launch the hotel completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment with all guest rooms meeting IHG’s global standard,” he said.

Ellingson joins NSL

The National - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NAMBAWAN Super Ltd (NSL) has appointed Marianna Ellingson to its board as an independent director in the position vacated by Lady Aivu Tauvasa, who resigned last year. Ellingson is currently director-general, Office of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Otac), based in Port Moresby. Commenting on the appointment, which had been approved by Bank of PNG, NSL chairman Sir Nagora Bogan said: “We are delighted to welcome such a high calibre person as Ellingson onto the board.“With impressive academic achievements, she also brings with her extensive local and international public sector experience, including several years in very senior roles with the Commonwealth secretariat in London. “Her particular skills are in the areas that are key to the role of an independent director – strategy development and strategic planning, mentoring, negotiation and conflict resolution,” Nagora added.He said Ellingson’s current position with Otac recognised her deep understanding of the diversity and strength of PNG culture, “which would be invaluable in the context of promoting the best interests of our large and diverse fund membership”.

PNG products tax free in EU markets

The National - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

By ANCILLA WRAKUALEPAPUA New Guinea will now be able to export its products directly to the European markets free from import duties and import quota.This has become possible under the interim economic partnership agreement signed between the two countries.This was revealed in a media briefing by visiting European Union commissioner for trade Karel De Gucht jointly held with foreign affairs, trade and immigration minister Don Polye and minister for Fisheries Ben Semri and officials from both parties.Polye said the investment arrangement with European Union would also create investment attraction and marketing opportunities for other sectors such as tourism, agriculture and fisheries.“We thanked EU for giving us the preference in exporting canned tuna to European markets.“We are happy with them and thanked them for the access,” Polye said.He said De Gucht’s visit showed solidarity and confidence between PNG and EU.Canned tuna will be manufactured at the proposed Pacific Marine and Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Vidar along the North coast road in Madang.De Gucht said he was happy to visit the country at the time of rapid evolution in gas and tuna industry.He stressed on investment protection, adding that it was the key factor in attracting outside investment.De Gucht began his visit yesterday as a part of his tour in the Asia Pacific region, with the first stop in Malaysia followed by Australia and New Zealand.He and Polye discussed the implementation of the IEPA whose provisions covered commitments and obligations pertaining to the goods trade between the two countries.Under the agreement, both EU and PNG now have preferential access to each other’s markets.Meanwhile, as a token of appreciation from the PNG government, De Gucht was presented with coffee products from the highlands and a portrait of a PNG woman with string bag.

New study: Palm oil a viable industry here

The National - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A NEW study on the economic benefits of the palm oil industry in PNG shows it is an economically and environmentally viable industry with the potential to raise the living standards of half a million people.Launched yesterday, the report titled The economic benefits of palm oil to PNG by international consultancy firm ITS Global, PNG is in a perfect position to capitalise on oil palm development as a response to strong global demand for food staples and a domestic need for nutrition and food security.ITS Global principal Alan Oxley said growth in this industry would have an immediate, sustainable impact on local and national economies.“It is estimated that one million hectares of designated area are available for palm oil development in PNG.“If just 420,000 hectares of this land were developed with palm oil, the industry would generate more than K104 billion in revenues over 25 years, providing 105,000 jobs annually and support close to 540,000 communities.“The prospects for economic development are enormous,” he explained.Commissioned by the Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group, this report showed that over the past 15 years, palm oil has recorded the greatest increase in real income out of major crops such as cocoa, copra and coffee.To show how profitable the industry is, the report found that palm oil smallholders on a two-hectare plot receive an annual income of K5,586 - almost double the country’s minimum wage, whose returns are almost 10 times those from cocoa.With traditional palm oil producing countries slowing down due to land restrictions and productivity concerns, PNG is in a prime position to fill future supply shortages.This means the next 10 years would see global demand for palm oil increase by 30%, reflecting the growing consumption for palm oil as both a food product and as a feedstock for biofuel.National Planning minister Paul Tiensten said agriculture, which has been the economic backbone of PNG for a long time, accounted for a third of today’s gross domestic product, which has been dwarfed by the growing contributions of export earnings from minerals and oil.He said the growing population was worsening problems such as competing land pressure, soil degradation, pests and nutritional dietary deficits, which the government was now working to ensure that agriculture sector reinvents itself.Tiensten explained that one way to do this was to increase cultivation areas and yield improvements by small holders which were the critical ingredients in the coffee, cocoa and copra industries.“This was important for the palm oil industry because the prospects for growth here were much stronger due to the potential for expansion from increased plantation investments.“As Minister for National Planning, I have the firm belief that palm oil had demonstrated the potential to drive economic growth in the agricultural sector,” Tiensten said.

RH ventures into palm oil

The National - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

By BOSORINA ROBBYTHE Rimbunan Hijau (PNG) Group is diversifying its business interest in the country by venturing into palm oil production.The Sigite Mukus Integrated Rural Development project located in East New Britain was revealed yesterday by RH executive director Ivan Lu at the launch of a report on the economic impacts of palm oil in PNG.Lu said although the initial stages of development took almost three years to process, with more still to complete, RH has succeeded in securing 40,000 hectares of land from landowners, while equipment were sent early this year to begin work.“The Sigite Mukus project includes an investment of more than K600 million involving three palm oil mills.“It is expected to contribute royalties, payments, levies and other community funding worth K800 million over the life of the project.“This is around K35 million per year,” Lu said.He said this would have a significant effect in driving economic development in East New Britain and the rural communities, where continued growth was vital if PNG were to bring 40% of the population out of poverty.He said after 20 years in PNG, RH understood the importance of economic development to the nation, where economic growth, investment and employment had been strong in recent years.Lu said with strong economic indicators now, RH’s move into the palm oil industry was the latest investment in their long-term commitment to PNG.He said responsible palm oil development offered huge potential to generate economic growth for the people of PNG for many years. “Many people in PNG and around the world assume that all we do is timber.“But we are a diverse company with interests in retail, media, property development, transport and logistics and now agriculture.“In 2006, just under 50% of our turnover came from non-forestry operations,” he said.

Super fund text service activated

The National - Thursday, March 24, 2011

By BOSORINA ROBBYNAMBAWAN Super members across the country can now check their account balances anytime and anywhere there is Digicel coverage.Launched yesterday, this service uses the USSD technology provided by DataNets with security measures protecting members and their money.Nambawan Super managing director Leon Buskens said this USSD service was an addition to activities that the fund had embarked on to ramp up member services and establish effective communication between the members and their super fund.Member accounts could be accessed online, and many more, he said.Buskens stressed that the project took so long to complete to ensure security and that the integrity of members’ information was managed carefully.To be eligible for the Nambawan supertext, members must first register at their nearest branches nationwide to get security PIN.Using their Digicel phones, members type in *661*member account number*member pin number# and press “send” or the call button.

InterOil eyes LNG terminal in Philippines

The National - Friday, March 25, 2011
INTEROIL Corp said on Wednesday that it and another company has signed a non-binding agreement with Energy World Corp (EWC) Ltd that could give them an ownership stake in Energy World’s proposed liquid natural gas hub terminal in the Philippines, as well as establish a downstream LNG services company.Financial terms of the memorandum were not disclosed.Seaforth, Australia-based EWC has a permit to construct an LNG hub terminal and 300MWt gas turbine on Pagbilao Grande Island.If the agreement becomes official, InterOil, which is based in Cairns, with US headquarters in Houston, would team up with Pacific LNG Operations Ltd, which operates in Papua New Guinea.The gas distribution services company would purchase, transmit, distribute and sell LNG and/or regasified LNG on a wholesale or retail basis to the Philippines. – Houston Business Journal

Nambawan Super unveils K263m profit

The National - Monday, March 28, 2011
BY ANCILLA WRAKUALENAMBAWAN Super Fund has announced a net profit of K263 million for 2010.The fund also disclosed last Friday a 10% interest rate earnings for its members.Chairman Sir Nagora Bogan said: “This is an excellent outcome for members of the fund if we benchmark that against the fund’s long-term overarching strategy to derive interest rate above 2% of the headline inflation.”He said last year’s result was 38% better than the previous year’s performance.Sir Nagora said the outcome had enabled the fund to declare a 10% interest rate which will be credited to member accounts including the Retirement Savings Accounts (RSAs) of retired members.Sir Nagora also said 2010 “was a year of solid results and investment for the future”, positioning NSL for contributing to a sustainable, long-term growth.Meanwhile, national vice-chairman of PNG Teacher’s Association Martin Kenehe, who spoke on behalf of the membership committee, welcomed the good news.He said the members would be happy to hear about the double-digit interest.NSL currently has 124,000 members with the highest average member account balance of more than K26,000.

Laga Ind ventures into water bottling

The National - Tuesday, March 29, 2011
LAGA Industries has completed the installation and commissioning of a state-of-the-art high speed water bottling line integrated into the current beverage bottling plant in Lae.General manager Phil Kelly said the 600ml bottled water would be available through their network of distributors under the distributors’ own brand.Kelly said water bottling had become a natural part of any beverage bottling business nowadays and that its integration into Laga’s present operations was a matter of course.“So it only made good commercial sense to extend into the bottled water category by installing a water filling line to counter imports, creating jobs and assisting to supply the growing demands for high quality bottled water”, Kelly explained.He said the addition of the world-class water bottling line was in keeping with the company’s strategic objectives to create jobs for Papua New Guineans as well as producing cost effective high quality products that delivers a satisfactory return to shareholders.“The product is of the highest standard and bears the HACCP certification and PNG-Made logo as it has been audited and accredited with HACCP certification by NCS International, an internationally recognised food safety auditor,” he said.

KAML :17.25% gain in investment

The National - Wednesday, March 30, 2011
THE Kina Asset Management Ltd generated an investment gain of K7.4 million, representing a 17.25% return for the 12 months to Dec 31, 2010.It also announced a five toea dividend for shareholders.KAML chairman Sir Rabbie Namaliu said the company’s investment portfolio increased by K4.51 million, from K44.79 million in 2009, to K49.3 million last December after the dividend payment and operational expenses.“This will enable current shareholders the opportunity to reinvest in KAML in lieu or receiving dividends,” he said.The expiry date for the divided payment will be on April 20 and payment will be made on May 10.Sir Rabbie said the increase in the portfolio value was attributed to the recovery in the equities prices and favourable exchange rate movements.He said the KAML board would continue with its current investment strategy with 40% of the fund invested in domestic equities and 60% in international equities, with flexibility for trading depending on market circumstances.He stressed that the strong performance reflected the confidence returning to PNG economy and the regional growth from new resource opportunities.“PNG is considered one of a group of emerging markets that is experiencing recovery and growth and recovery faster than their more advanced counterparts” Sir Rabbie said.“Whilst PNG’s immediate neighbours in the region have continued to enjoy stable growth and recover, the immediate implication of the currency woes of more developed economies and specifically the US and Europe will affect trade.“These remained very uncertain times globally.”However, the PNG economy continued to grow, and last year was mainly driven by the commencement of construction of the LNG project and related activities and the recovery in the international export prices, Sir Rabbie said.

NBPOL inks US$240 million

The National - Monday, April 4, 2011
NEW Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPO), one of the largest fully integrated industrial producers of sustainable palm oil, last Friday announced the signing of a new five-year US$240 million debt facility.The facility will replace the previous 12 month US$200 million facility entered into in April last year to partially fund the acquisition of CTP (PNG) Ltd (now renamed Kula Palm Oil Ltd). In a statement through the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, the company said the facility was being provided by Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd, Labuan Branch of Malaysia, Maybank International Ltd, and ANZ (PNG) Ltd.The facility comprised two equally-sized amortising and non-amortising tranches, and represented terms which the directors believed were very competitive. The directors were particularly pleased with the level of competition demonstrated by interested lenders during the financing process.Furthermore, the directors noted the continuing relatively low level of leverage that this facility represented for a company of NBPOL’s size and cash generative ability.NBPOL chief executive Nick Thompson said: “The high level of competition, the very favourable terms and the extension of NBPOL’s facilities achieved during this refinancing demonstrated the increased strength and standing of the company in the eyes of the lending community. “As part of the process, it also became clear that risk-appetite for lending to PNG had increased substantially.“The company now had a very stable and conservative capital structure,” he added.NBPOL is a large-scale integrated industrial producer of sustainable palm oil in Australasia, headquartered in PNG.It now has more than 75,000ha of planted oil palm plantations, a further 5,000ha under preparation for oil palm among others.

Domestic Q1 interest rates up

The National - Wednesday, April 6, 2011
DOMESTIC interest rates have increased over the March quarter, despite concerns for high liquidity in the economy.However, the economy continued to grow, boosted by the much publicised LNG project and its spill-over effects on the other sectors, favourable commodity prices and strong investor confidence.The BSP Capital Ltd Research, which provided the March quarter report, said that the continued global economic recovery would further buoy the local economy.It reported that the domestic demand was applying strong pressure on consumer and asset prices, with inflation projected to rise to 8.5% this year, compared to 7.2% last year.The policy measures imposed by the Bank of Papua New Guinea last October have shown some success with further interventions forthcoming.This is the increase of the cash reserve ratio (CRR) from 3% to 4% and the introduction of supervisory liquidity ratio which is under consideration.The kina facility rate (KFR) was maintained at 7% over the last 14 months as monetary aggregates continue to support growth with less impact on underlying inflation.Over the quarter, market interest rate performed as expected with short-term interest rates having increased compared to the preceding quarter, but remained lower than the corresponding period of last year.The government introduced a six-year inscribed stock last January, with a coupon payment of 9% per annum, which had seen aggressive bidding from investors.

JV deal to acquire Fiji hotel underway

The National - Friday, April 8, 2011
THE deal to purchase Grand Pacific, a luxurious hotel in Suva, Fiji, by Fiji National Provident Fund and Nasfund Ltd is now being finalised by the joint venture, FNPF chief executive officer Aisake Taito.Taito told the Fiji Suns: “The fund is now finalising the joint venture arrangements with its investment partners from Papua New Guinea, the National Superfund and Lamana Development Corp.”“They are now finalising the hotel design, costing estimates and a detailed feasibility study.”Taito said the Intercontinental Hotel in Natadola was also performing extremely well and since August last year, as owners, FNPF had received US$6.5 million from the hotel.He said they had also begun the repayment of loans to the fund.FNPF said they would soon finalise the capital restructure to ensure that certain portions of the loans were serviced adequately into the future and the balance to be repaid from the residential sales or converted to equity.FNPF also stated that subject to confirmations, construction of the new Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva is expected to commence in July.Taito has confirmed that it has filed legal action on behalf of FNPF Investments Ltd against Venture Capital Partners or VCP and its employee, Dinesh Shankar.

NZ team here to conduct trade expo

The National, Monday, April 11, 2011
A STRONG 23-man trade mission team from New Zealand comprising business leaders and senior members of the NZ government will be in Port Moresby this week to conduct a four day expo of NZ products.Led by the NZ PNG Business Council, the mission is designed to increase NZ business engagement in PNG by meeting with businesses, government departments and industry representatives.Delegates represent service providers and manufacturers from the construction, food and beverage and transportation industries and are keen to investigate opportunities for trade in PNG, upholding the NZ reputation for reliability, value and astute customer focus.It is hoped some of the group will be able to stay on for a Golf Day organized by Rotary Club of Boroko and the Port Moresby Golf Club to raise funds for the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

Monday, October 25, 2010

10 entry point projects to meet demand for services

CONTENT and application creation for communications services will lead the transition to a knowledge based-industry under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
With data traffic increasing by 51% per year, profit focus has shifted from infrastructure to content and service providers and the Govern­ment has outlined 10 entry point projects that cater to increasing demand for services.
The ETP Report outlined 10 entry point projects (EPP) that are estimated to rake in RM35.7bil for the gross national income (GNI) in 2020 and create 43,163 jobs.
The 10 projects, placed under three themes, address content creation, expanding applications for public use and enhancing current infrastructure and require RM30bil, of which 97% will be provided by private entities.
The remaining 3% will be from public funds.
The first three projects, under the theme “Serving Tomorrow”, consist of nurturing Malaysia’s creative content industry, deploying a unified mobile and online payment system and spurring the adoption of communication technology linking businesses, households and the Government.
The second theme, “Pushing Boundaries”, contains three projects which aim to provide access to e-learning, e-healthcare and e-government services.
E-healthcare will include remote scheduling, remote monitoring, as well as online personal record keeping and payment system to increasethe efficiency of both private and public health services.
The four projects under the final theme “Enhancing Foundations” will focus on offering better broadband and network services to the public.
One of the projects, called “Ensuring Broadband for All” aims to legally require housing developers to include broadband as an essential service in addition to water and electricity through new bylaws made by the Housing and Local Government Ministry by end of this year.
The Government has set critical targets and milestones to be achieved within the next six to 12 months led by the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

Demand for more international schools in Malaysia

THE Education Ministry will encourage local providers to increase the number of international schools in the country.
The demand for international schools is expected to increase due to the Greater Kuala Lumpur-National Key Economic Area’s target of increasing expatriates and the returning diaspora population.
International schools have been expanding at a rate of 10% over the past five years driven by a growth in the expatriate population.
The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has identified 10 providers for an expansion programme which will start next year. The progress of expansion and running marketing campaigns to engage new local and international providers will be monitored by a special team to be established by the Education Ministry.
The unit will also work together with the Higher Education Ministry, Human Resources Ministry, the Tourism Ministry, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) and Wisma Putra on marketing Malaysia as a destination of choice for private basic education.
The capital requirement which will amount to RM2.4bil over a period of 10 years will be sourced entirely from the private sector.
This iniative will generate RM2.6bil in gross national income in 2020 and will create approximately 10,000 jobs.

Malaysia can become third largest solar cells producer

MALAYSIA could become the third largest producer of solar cells after China and Germany once related projects were completed next year.
The country’s aspiration is to increase its market share to 17% of world production and reach number two position behind China by 2020.
Under the Economic Trans­for­mation Programme (ETP), Malaysia will use its its current capabilities in producing semiconductors advantage to go into the solar industry.
It indicated that similarities in the solar and semiconductor value chain can help the country latch onto the global solar growth.
Malaysia has a strong starting position in solar. The country already has companies across the entire value chain.
To reach this goal, Malaysia needs to increase its cell and solar wafer production capacity by 10 times and silicon production capacity by 23 times by 2020.
Despite astronomical costs compared to oil, coal and other renewable energy sources, the global solar market has grown by 50% between 2005 and 2010.
This year, the global solar market is expected to hit 10 gigawatts in yearly supply and rake in RM160bil in revenue.
While solar is currently expensive, average installed system prices have dropped to about RM16.40 per watt.
Prices are expected to fall further to RM6.70 per watt or lower in 2020.
The solar market is expected to grow at 30% per year until 2015 and drop to 25% until 2020.
If solar’s energy share among renewable energies reaches its forecast of 5% in 2020, this will translate into global cumulative installed capacity of 560 gigawatts.
By then, an annual demand of 113 gigawatts will bring RM918bil of revenue in 2020, where Asia will drive a significant portion of the demand and supply in 2020.

Projects worth RM30bil to put nation on the ETP roadmap


KUALA LUMPUR: Nine agreements worth at least RM30bil have been inked between the Government and the private sector, boosting the RM1.3tril Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
“This will convince those who have doubted the ETP,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday at the launch of the goal-oriented programme, which is seeking to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020.
He said the agreements to kick-start nine Entry Point Projects (EPPs) would put the nation on the right course on the ETP roadmap.
The companies are German-based LFoundry, St Regis, Mydin Group, Abu Dhabi-based Muba­dala, WCT Bhd, renowned oilfield services player Schlumberger, Asia e-university, Premium Renewable Energy Sdn Bhd and Genting Bhd.
The projects are:
* Germany’s LFoundry will invest a total of RM1.9bil to set up five wafer fabrication plants in Kulim Hi-Tech, Kedah. The initial investment is RM214mil.
* St Regis will build a six-star hotel and residence worth RM1.2bil in KL Sentral. The 208-room hotel and 160-unit residence will be built on a 0.88ha plot.
* Mydin is investing RM1bil to open 14 new branches and assisting the Government in its sundry shop transformation programme.
* Schlumberger has invested RM300mil to establish a new Global Financial Hub and shared services in Bandar Utama, Selangor. This is part of the Greater KL New Key Economic Area to attract 100 multinational corporations to relocate to Kuala Lumpur by 2020.
* Premium Renewable Energy will set up a RM124mil bio-oil plant in Lahad Datu, Sabah. It is also investing in 29 bio-oil plants by 2020 as part of the Palm Oil NKEA to commercialise second-generation biofuel using oil palm biomass.
* Mubadala of Abu Dhabi is investing in the RM26bil KL International Financial District on a 34-ha plot near Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur.
* Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd had awarded a 25-year concession to WCT Bhd to build a RM486mil integrated complex at KLIA 2, the upcoming low-cost carrier terminal in Sepang.
* Asia e-University has been picked as the gateway university for international education in distance and on-line learning. It is expected to generate gross national income of RM100mil.
* Genting is investing RM150mil to build Johor Premium Outlets in Genting Indahpura.
Najib said the projects were part of the 131 EPPs that would be implemented to create 3.3 million new jobs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Qld firm wins rich deal in LNG project

THE Toowoomba-based construction materials group Wagners Global Services has won a multi-million dollar contract to operate two concrete plants for ExxonMobil’s US$18 billion PNG LNG project.Through the help of the Australian government’s Export Finance and Insurance Corp (EFIC), Wagners will supply, install and operate the plants for the Southern Highlands project, according to an article on the Queensland Business Review (QBR) online yesterday.The actual contract value was not disclosed.QBR said Wagners would work in collaboration with Japanese engineering and construction firms Chiyoda Corp and JGC Corp, whose joint venture CJJV is building the LNG plant for Esso Highlands Ltd, a consortium led by PNG LNG project operator ExxonMobil.Wagners general manager John Watts reportedly said EFIC, the federal government’s export credit agency, had provided two performance bonds to CJJV on behalf of the company.“The Australian commercial banks would have required full security to issue the performance bonds to a party in a foreign jurisdiction and we couldn’t afford to tie up our cash resources in that way,” Watts said.“EFIC’s bonds have freed up our working capital, enabling us to deliver this large-scale contract in a challenging location,” he added.EFIC has provided a US$350 million loan to the broader PNG LNG project, joining an international syndicate of export credit agencies and commercial lenders.Wagners will install and operate two ready-mix wet-batch mobile concrete plants and supply around 130,000 cubic metres of cement for the construction of the LNG plant.