PNG Ports sends condolences to fellow port workers killed, injured in Lebanon blast

PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) expresses its sincerest condolences to the families of port workers and the wider community killed and injured during a huge explosion at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon on Tuesday.

On August 4, at least 137 people were killed and more than 5,000 others injured as the whole city was shaken by a blast, which began as a fire at the port and exploded into a mushroom cloud.

In what had been described as a huge catastrophe, Lebanon’s President, Michel Aoun said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a warehouse for six years and had caused the blast.

Lebanon observed an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday.

Managing Director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa, said the explosion was an unfortunate incident for Lebanon and fellow port workers at the port of Beirut.

“On behalf of the Board, Management and staff of PNG Ports, I would like to express our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of our fellow port and marine industry workers who were working during the unfortunate time of the blast.”

“It is an unfortunate incident, as we, at the ports, strive to ensure zero hazards all the time.  Our prayers are with you all during this time of hardship,” Mr Kiniafa said.

Mr Kiniafa also assured the people of PNG that at any time, under no circumstances, where explosive materials, including ammonium nitrate, passed through the ports, there were strict laws and guidelines to ensure safe handling, storage, monitoring and transporting.

“PNG Ports ensures that explosive consignments are loaded onto vessels last to ensure they are unloaded first at the next port of call under a ‘first on, first off’ rule for handling explosives and dangerous goods. Any explosives which come into a port facility operated by PNG Ports, go direct to a Department of Transport certified off port facility referred to as a magazine.”

“We are confident of the measures put in place throughout our network of ports, and our ports are safe under the existing strict operational guidelines, however, the incident in Beirut highlights the need to be ever vigilant in ensuring safety protocols are adhered to so that there is no chance whatsoever of such an incident at any of our port facilities” he said.

PNG Ports has been in operation before World War two and has been safely, efficiently and effectively facilitating maritime trade for the Pacific through the provision of berthing, pilotage and wharfage services.

PNG Ports: Pandemic or no pandemic, pilots still deliver


PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) is reputable and provides reliable pilotage services in the country with pilots who are properly trained and certified.  

This was proven upon the enactment of the first State of Emergency (SOE) where despite heightened restrictions, PNG Ports undertook crucial measures to ensure that the seaports remained open. 

Except for the two ports in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB), pilots are stationed at all ports owned and operated by PNG Ports and effectively conduct pilotage duties ensuring that goods continue to reach the people. 

Under a non-contact arrangement, PNG Ports’ Pilotage team handled a total of 90 LNG tankers and around 2900 vessel movements at its network of ports since the SOE. 

PNG Ports has also taken steps to ensure that the seaports, which are the lifeline of the nation, continue to remain open, given the current spike in COVID-19 infections in Port Moresby. 

Managing Director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa, said the efficient pilotage services provided by PNG Ports under the new COVID-19 response operating procedures, proved that PNG Ports would always be the leader in this line of business. 

“Our pilotage manpower was put to the test since the COVID-19 pandemic began but we managed to position our pilots in our ports of operation ensuring the protection of our infrastructure and marine environment,” Mr Kiniafa said. 

“We are the only pilotage service provider that has the capacity to provide pilotage services during the pandemic.  Except for the two in AROB, our pilots were on call seven days, 24 hours with enough pilots at all 13 ports.  As possible points of entry for the coronavirus, seaports are high risk zones, so we upgraded our service to fit the requirements around the restrictions and the ‘new normal’.” 

“PNG Ports has also taken steps to increase its fleet and manpower to meet the increasing demand brought on as a result of the changing times, so whether during or after the pandemic, PNG Ports is prepared to deliver,” he said. 

As part of the emergency response plan during the pandemic, PNG Ports upped its game by introducing a no-contact arrangement where ships were cleared at anchorage out at sea before they entered the port area.  

Chief Pilot, Captain Joji Takape, said health and quarantine officers travel out to sea where the incoming vessels are anchored but do not get on the ship, as per the SOE Controller’s directives, and there is no crew exchanges whether from shore to ship or ship to shore. 

He said marine pilots are given the sole mandate to board the foreign vessels but are strictly required to be in full personal protective equipment and abide by the no-contact social distancing protocol.

 “PNG Ports has been providing safe and efficient pilotage services for decades with nil major accidents, nil spillages and other incidents so far, and to date, we have handled more than 1000 Panamax and Aframax size Tankers (large vessels) including more than 600 LNG tankers,” Captain Joji said.

All international vessels are cleared at anchorage at the designated pilot boarding areas before pilot’s board the vessels and bring them alongside to berth for unloading and loading cargo.  

It is mandatory that pilots bring the vessels in and out, and not the ship captains, as the marine pilots are more knowledgeable on local waters and can maneuver the ships through the congested waters at the ports. 

 PNG Ports has invested heavily in equipping its pilots with additional training and currently use top of the range tools and real time technology to ensure fast service and turnaround times for the vessels.

PNG Ports: 80% of ports run as community service


PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports) owns and operates 15 port facilities in the country, but relies on only three ports to fund its operations.

The other 12 ports do not make money and are run as part of the PNG Ports Community Service Obligations (CSO) program.

Managing Director of PNG Ports, Fego Kiniafa, clarified that eighty percent of the ports, referred to as CSO ports, were not profitable and depended on Motukea (Port Moresby), Lae and Kimbe to generate enough revenue through the cargo volume throughput.

“Motukea, Lae and Kimbe generate revenue that funds the operations of the 12 other ports.  These three also have the capacity to sustain themselves and could amply support their own operations going forward.”

“We have competition from private port facility operators in Port Moresby and Lae, which lessons our ability to fulfil our mandate, because our competitors do not have to support any other port as we do.” 

“But as a responsible state owned entity, PNG Ports is focused in ensuring basic services are delivered to the people, who are the stakeholders.  Hence, we operate the 12 ports through our CSO regime, as part of giving back to the communities, in ensuring that this nation, so reliant on sea-borne trade, prospers.”

“In line with the government’s aspirations and to meet our stakeholder’s demands, PNG Ports has also ensured the rehabilitation and upgrading of all ports in its drive to modernize port operations and drive efficiencies.”

“We believe in prudent management, accountability and transparency in order to address the ongoing challenge of meeting the demands of our stakeholders, and to maintain our status as the premier port facility operator in the Pacific region,” Mr Kiniafa said

PNG Ports owns and operates 15 of the 23 declared ports in PNG - Aitape, Alotau, Buka, Daru, Kavieng, Kieta, Kimbe, Lae, Lorengau, Madang, Oro Bay, Port Moresby, Rabaul, Vanimo and Wewak.

Of the other eight ports, seven are non-operational while one (Samarai Port) is under agency management. 

The Lae and Motukea International port facilities, owned by PNG Ports, are exclusively managed and operated by a global company, International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) South Pacific. 

In September 2017, Government and PNG Ports signed a 25-year terminal management agreement with the ICTSI Group to run these two port facilities.

The benefits of this Government driven initiative are already being realised, due to the investment ICTSI made in state of the art equipment, ICT systems, and through the introduction of world standard waterfront practices and training.

Lae port now trades as the South Pacific International Container Terminal, and Motukea, located outside Port Moresby, as the Motukea International Terminal.

Wewak Port

PNG Ports pays taxes to support Government’s COVID-19 fight


Presentation of K28.4 million Corporate Tax payment to the National Government - Hon. Sasindran Muthuvel, MP Minister for State Enterprises

The government’s efforts to alleviate the worldwide impact of COVID-19 on the country has been given a multimillion kina boost by PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNG Ports).

The State Owned Entity (SOE) paid more than K28, 467,878.42 million to the government for taxes owing from last year as well as the advance tax payments for this year.

This payment, along with the K15 million paid earlier this year, makes PNG Ports one of the few companies to pay such a significant amount to the government during the pandemic and the only company to make an advance tax payment.

During the height of the lockdown, PNG Ports also assisted the COVID-19 Joint Agency Task Force, the Health and Police Departments in kind with face masks, infrared temperature guns, hand sanitizers and awareness posters.

Board Chairman, Kepas Wali, announced this week that there was no better time than this to assist the government.

“PNG’s economy, like the rest of the world, has been hard hit by the global economic downturn and businesses, like PNG Ports, are also facing the brunt of it,” said Mr Wali.

“International trade has slowed down, there has been a decline in ship calls at our ports, cargo volumes have also decreased and low revenue has been generated as a result of a decline in export.”

SOE Minister, PNGPCL Management, IRC Commissioner General