PNG targets K200 billion economy by 2032

PHOTO: ExxonMobil PNG/Twitter

Prime Minister James Marape says Papua New Guinea has been working on five major projects in the last three years to reach a K200 billion (US$56.8 billion) economy.

“The projects are the Papua LNG, Pogera Gold Mine, P’nyang LNG, Pasca Gas Condensate and Wafi-Golpu mining,” he told the 16th Papua New Guinea Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney, Australia, Monday.

“We are in ‘deep waters’ in various stages of those projects as far as agreements and developments are concerned.

“There is no turning back and we look forward to substantial concrete progress on project development.

“These projects, being developed from 2023 to 2032, will be the impetuous, the next wave responsible for PNG’s economy to be catapulted, surpassing the K200 billion economy I envisioned on 30 May 2019.

“Every other project that you all have interest in, like Frieda, Kili Tege, Yandera, Pandora, Stanley and Ketu Elalava, is a bonus on top of these projects.

“Investors who already have an interest or an asset in PNG, please progress the project to the next stage before 2025.

“If we, in the last three years, have had our petroleum and mining negotiating teams plus our state negotiation team progress, we can handle your project too.”

Marape said by 2025, PNG would shift all licences and projects that had no substantial progress into a new hybrid production-sharing regime.

“If you want to enjoy the present concessional regime we have, then you must progress to show your seriousness,” he said.

“Our royalty tax concessional regime will run its course with those projects that have made substantial progress in exploration, data update and development.

“But those warehousing licences with no activity in exploration or development will face redundancy, as PNG migrates into a hybrid production-sharing regime that we will negotiate with the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.”

Marape invited investors to secure an appointment with International Trade and Investment Minister Richard Maru, who heads all PNG investments and trade negotiations, or the two sector ministers in Kerenga Kua (Petroleum) and Sir Ano Pala (Mining).

“For those new investors who want to invest in PNG, let me tell you some good news and competitive advantages PNG has as an investment destination, apart from what I alluded to earlier,” he said.

“We will always allow our investors to make profit, even in a production-sharing regime. We will give investor incentives for exploration dollars spent in the country.

“While our philosophy demands we have 60 to 65 percent of the total project pie, we will respect each project’s development peculiarity and projects will be negotiated on their own merits guided by the operative laws.

“We can give fiscal and legislative stability, but at a negotiated premium. PNG is closer to active markets and the State will use its network as a bilateral and multilateral partner country to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and other global economies for the export of PNG products.