PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill is expected to launch the construction phase of the multi-billion kina Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project in Madang today.
The project was initiated in 2006 by the National Fisheries Authority and Fishery Industry Association.
Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru (pictured) said the project would optimise the value of the country’s tuna resources through on-shore tuna processing plants.
Once fully developed, the project will cater for 10 processing plants – each p
lant with a capacity to produce 200 metric tonnes of tuna – 60,000 metric tonnes per year.
This translates to huge foreign exchange earnings, direct and indirect employment and business spin-offs among others.
The cost of phase one is US$95 million – based on 2010 pricing. It has risen by 51 per cent.
The major contractor is China Shenyang International Economic Corporation (PNG) Ltd. The project will be developed in 215 hectares of land – 100ha for the industrial zone and 115ha for residential and commercial.
The project will be funded by the State (22 per cent) and the EXIM Bank of China (78 per cent) on a concessional loan agreement.