PNG Govt Approves Acquisition of Motukea

Friday Aug 29, 2014 – Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, Ben Micah today announced the Government of Papua New Guinea has approved the purchase of the Port of Motukea from Curtain Bros for the purpose of relocating the Port of Moresby Main Wharf to Motukea.

Mr Micah said this is to enhance the economic growth of the country, at the same time allowing the transformation of the Central Business District (CBD) of the nation’s capital.

“The CBD of Port Moresby has reached operational capacity and has been ham-strung by traffic congestion and growth issues, forcing the Government to seek a viable solution that will assist in the long-term development of the city. It is anticipated that by relocating the port operations away from the CBD it will assist in creating a more functional and visually aesthetic urban landscape.” Mr Micah said.

The Minister for Public Enterprise and State Investments, Hon Ben Micah MP today observed the signing of the Port Sale Letter of Intent (LOI) between the Government, through IPBC, PNG Ports and Curtain Bros.

“This is an historic occasion for the city of Port Moresby, as the major business hub and capital city of our country. We can now plan to be free of the stranglehold that traffic has had over our CBD and we can now start to create the vision of a more user-friendly and vibrant modern city.” Mr Micah said.

“Relocating the port and its associated operations will relieve congestion. The city will also be free of trucks and associated traffic that have been servicing the port. Our aim is to have the Port relocation completed by 2018, to coincide with the 2018 APEC meeting.” Minister Micah added.

“Because Motukea is an existing site in operation there is limited risk and lessened impact to the physical and social environment. The future port will facilitate the efficient import and export of goods to underpin the economic growth of Papua New Guinea. Once the port relocation is complete, we can commence the beautification and redevelopment of the downtown district of Port Moresby city. More harbour-side recreational and shopping areas, greater access to parking, and the free-flow of traffic through the CBD – these factors will enhance   Port Moresby as a city and tourist destination. We will create a city of the future, one of which Papua New Guinea can be proud.”

Mr Micah said the completion of negotiations has been the result of approval by members of National Executive Council (NEC and hard work by the Special Negotiation Committee headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, and work done by the Members of the Program Joint Steering Committee representing Departments of Treasury, Planning, Finance, Transport, Environment, NCDC, PNG Ports, NEC, chaired by Managing Director IPBC Wasantha Kumarasiri.

“All required assistance has come from the Minister for Finance, State Solicitor and Chairmen Directors of IPBC, PNG Ports Corporation, the team at IPBC,” Minister Micah added.

Managing Director of Curtain Bros PNG, Sir Michael Curtain said it was an honour for the Motukea site to be acquired by the Government for the purpose of the future development of the capital city.

“Curtain Bros has been involved in of the development of infrastructure within Papua New Guinea for over half a century. In recent years we have developed Motukea as a hub for our operations. It has become our home base. It will now become the hub of a newly planned and more functional city of Port Moresby. We take great pride in this achievement,” Sir Michael said. 

BACK GROUND INFORMATION

In 1998 the PNG Government, through a National Executive Council (NEC) decision, established the initial framework for the Port Relocation concept by directing the then Harbours Board to conduct necessary studies and report its findings.

A number of sites were considered in these studies. Motukea emerged as the most viable and preferred option given its relative low cost and readiness due to the fact that it was already an established port.

Motukea Port is privately owned and operated by Curtain Bros PNG. The existing facility consists of three berths of 530 metres, 19 ha of reclamation hardstand, 14 ha of swing-basin and 27 ha of adjoining sea-bed lease with adequate space for development and expansion, which will include an additional two international berths.

The State, through the National Executive Council (NEC) appointed the IPBC to project-manage this important development in conjunction with PNG Ports Corporation. The IPBC is supported by a Project Steering Committee chaired by the IPBC Managing Director, Mr Wasantha Kumarasiri, OBE and attended by representatives from the Department of Finance, Planning, Treasury, Transport, the Maritime Authority, the Department of the Environment and Conservation, the National Executive Council, PNG Ports Corporation and the National Capital District Commission (NCDC).

About Curtain Bros    

The Curtain Group was established in Papua New Guinea in October 1966 with the commencement of operations by the company known as Curtain Bros Papua New Guinea Limited. The company was formed by three brothers: Dan, Mick and David Curtain. The brothers had travelled to Papua New Guinea for work with the Territory Administration. Not long after arriving in Port Moresby, they realised the potential for business opportunities and established their Curtain Bros business.

In the early days, Curtain Bros PNG was solely a civil engineering and construction company, focusing on roads, subdivisions and airstrips. The business today, controlled by Sir Mick Curtain, extends into mining, bridge construction, dam construction, shipping, wharf construction, dockyard construction and operation, major infrastructure establishment, property development and building construction.

ENDS