PNG fuel crisis fixed: State Entreprise Minister Duma

Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 next generation series aircraft (Photo: Dr Billy William Joseph MP/Facebook)

Papua New Guinea State Enterprises Minister William Duma says passengers on Air Niugini flights will no longer be “inconvenienced” by the lack of JetA1 fuel.

He made the announcement following an arrangement between Air Niugini, Ok Tedi Mining Limited and Pacific Energy Aviation Limited (PEAL) to support the supply of aviation fuel.

Duma said this paves the way for a compliant, sustainable and consistent jet fuel supply chain to underpin Air Niugini’s domestic and international services.

He said the surplus batch of JetA1 fuel was already in the country.

He said the travelling public has been affected with sudden flight delays and cancellations.

Air Niugini acting chief executive officer Gary Seddon commended the passengers for their patience.

Seddon said the airline has been subjected to excessive fuel ration for the past 12 months with last month being the worst.

Duma said there will be no more delays relating to lack of fuel.

“There maybe other delays like technical issues or bad weather. But not fuel. Fuel is already here as of today (yesterday). This is an arrangement for two years and might expand.”

Duma said: “This is a momentous day for our two State-owned enterprises, working collaboratively and innovatively to achieve an outcome for the benefit of the people of Papua New Guinea.

“Aviation is fundamental to the economic and social development of Papua New Guinea. It is an essential service. It is the primary means of connectivity for many parts of the country. Jet fuel is critical to the safe and efficient delivery of air transport.”

The aviation fuel supply agreements will see jet fuel availability for the long term.

Duma said this will stop the disruption caused by fuel shortages and help Air Niugini to operate its schedule reliably. The fuel supply arrangements have been in the planning for some months now to ensure compliance and rigorous standards are maintained. The supply of aviation products must conform to international standards.

He said the arrangements will provide a reliable supply chain for at least the next two years.

PEAL will provide the facilities for aviation fuel storage, testing and delivery to the aircraft at Jackson International Airport. Jet fuel standards are set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), based on the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

These standards ensure the quality and safety of jet fuel for the aviation industry. Jet fuel suppliers and distributors in PNG must follow these standards and pass regular tests and inspections, licensed through CASAPNG.

“I would like to express my appreciation to the managing director of OTML Kedi Ilimbit and Seddon, for their perseverance and commitment to developing an innovative fuel solution.”

OTML managing director Kedi Ilimbit said his organisation was proud to be playing a role in developing reliable jet fuel supply chain for Air Niugini.

Seddon thanked Ilimbit and his team from OTML for taking the initiative in developing this aviation fuel supply chain. Seddon also thanked Duma for his stewardship and foresight.