Minister Micah inspects Lae port project

The Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, Mr Ben Micah, today inspected progress on two projects of
national significance in Lae – the expansion of the existing port and the construction of a new tidal basin, berths and
container terminal.

“These are critical infrastructure projects that will have a huge beneficial impact on Lae itself and the Momase-Highlands
region,” he said. “They will bring new jobs and wealth-creation opportunities for local people right across the region.
“I have come to reassure myself, through meetings with those involved in the two projects, that they are proceeding
smoothly, on time and on budget.
“Prime Minister Peter O”Neill promised in his Address to the Nation yesterday that one of his priorities is the repair and
maintenance of existing infrastructure, and the creation of new infrastructure to spur economic development.
“I am here to make sure that we deliver, and I will do everything in my power as Minister to make sure that these projects
are completed as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.”
Mr Micah said one of the most important elements of the two projects was jobs for local people and local businesses. At
least 600 extra jobs are expected be created during the construction phase.
More jobs for Lae people will follow, Mr Micah said, and more opportunities for local business.
“Our Government is focussed on ensuring that traditional landowners achieve reasonable benefits for the container
terminal project, particularly jobs,” he said. “I stressed that in my meetings today and I have asked IPBC to follow up.”
The State has an agreement in writing with the contractor, China Harbor Engineering Corporation, that it will employ
local labor and contractors wherever possible. IPBC’s Project Management Unit will discuss this issue with the Busulum
Clan and CHEC and make sure more work is forthcoming.
The Project Management Unit will also respond to a petition presented to the O’Neill Government by the Busulum
Development Corporation.
Mr Micah also said he wanted long delays and cost increases on the expansion of the existing port to be dealt with
quickly.
“The contractor, Nawae Constructions, and PNG Ports are finalising an out-of-court settlement to a number of issues
and work will recommence once procedural matters have been completed,” he said.
“The Government will then look at the possibility of further cost-recovery measures in relation to the project.
“These projects will help create employment for local people including as sailors, port laborers, drivers and equipment
operators and office staff in port agencies and local stevedoring and transport companies.
“In the longer term flow-on industrial and commercial development resulting from the project can add several hundred
more such jobs.
“No-one wants this to be put at risk by further delays and cost-blow-outs.”

ENDS

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